Celebrate Fourth of July responsibly, GSP says

By Asia Burns

The Fourth of July is right around the corner and the Georgia State Patrol is making an effort to encourage Georgians to celebrate the holiday responsibly.

The holiday travel period begins at 6 p.m. Friday and ends at midnight Monday.

“State troopers are preparing for full patrols during the peak travel times,” Department of Public Safety Commissioner Colonel Mark W. McDonough said.

GSP said troopers will be conducting road checks and patrols across the state over the holiday travel period to watch for traffic violations that could cause a car crash.

Last year during the holiday weekend, troopers said they investigated 554 crashes that caused 277 injuries and four deaths. Troopers said they arrested an additional 343 people for driving while intoxicated. This holiday period, GSP is participating in the Operation Zero Tolerance campaign, a “nationwide mobilization against impaired drivers.” State Troopers said they will be working alongside sheriff’s deputies and police officers to bring impaired drivers into custody.

“If you are caught driving impaired, you will be arrested,” Colonel McDonough said.

As you travel, the GSP offers these tips:

  • Wear your seat belt. Make sure everyone in the vehicle is buckled up before you hit the road, no matter how short the trip.
  • Obey the speed limit. Exceeding the speed limit reduces the amount of available time needed to avoid a crash.
  • Avoid distracted driving. Refrain from performing any activity that may take your focus off of the road, such as texting while driving.
  • Be courteous to other drivers. Stay alert of your surroundings and show common courtesy to other motorists and pedestrians on the roads.
  • Properly install child safety seats. Georgia law requires children under the age of eight to be in either a car seat or booster seat suitable for their age and height.
  • Do not leave children and pets in hot cars. Get in the habit of regularly checking the back seat and back floor area for children and animals, each time you exit your vehicle.