ATLANTA- As the holidays are quickly approaching, the Georgia State Patrol urges drivers who will be on the roads during the holiday period to use extra caution when traveling across the state. “Traffic will be heavy. Plan your trips carefully by allowing ample time to reach your destination. We want everyone to enjoy the holiday season, but we also want all to be safe out on our roads,” said Colonel Mark W. McDonough, Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Safety.
The Christmas holiday travel period begins Wednesday, December 24, at 6 p.m. and ends at midnight on Sunday, December 28. The New Year’s holiday travel period begins at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, December 31, and ends Sunday, January 4. Both periods are 102 hours long.
State troopers will be out on full patrols looking to spot motorists not obeying the traffic laws. “Make sure everyone is wearing a seatbelt and that children are properly restrained. Don’t text and drive, and obey the posted speed limit,” said Colonel McDonough. “Each year, troopers work numerous crashes that could have been prevented if drivers had made safety a priority,” he added.
Last year, both holiday travel periods were only 30 hours long. Georgia State Troopers investigated 101 traffic crashes over the Christmas travel period that resulted in 65 injuries and two fatalities. During the New Year’s travel period, there were 131 crashes and 66 injuries reported. Also, one person was killed.
The Christmas and New Year’s holiday travel periods are also a mobilization period for Operation Zero Tolerance. Georgia State Troopers will be teaming up with law enforcement officials from across the state for a high visibility enforcement campaign that targets impaired drivers. During last year’s Christmas holiday period, 25 arrests were made for driving under the influence, and 155 people were arrested during the New Year’s holiday. “If you know that you will be consuming alcoholic beverages, plan ahead to have a designated driver. Enjoy the holidays, but also know that if you drive impaired, you will go to jail and your vehicle will be impounded,” the commissioner said.