The Georgia State Patrol (GSP) is gearing up for a busy Labor Day holiday travel period.
According to Georgia Department of Public Safety Commissioner Col. Mark McDonough, Georgia State Troopers and Motor Carrier Compliance Division Officers will be patrolling the interstates and secondary roadways throughout the weekend.
"Past experience has shown the majority of the fatalities over a holiday weekend occur on the state routes, county roads, and city streets," McDonough said in a released statement.
Enforcement actions will be targeted at impaired drivers, speeders, people not wearing seat belts, and people who do not properly restrain children.
"Alcohol, speed, and occupant protection violations are the primary contributing factors in fatal traffic crashes in our state,” McDonough added.
In 2010, Labor Day weekend crashes claimed the lives of 14 people. A total of 2,580 traffic crashes and 1,042 injuries were reported during last year’s 78-hour holiday period.
This year, the holiday period begins at 6 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 2 and ends at midnight on Labor Day.
Operation Zero Tolerance, a DUI enforcement program, will remain in effect through the end of the Labor Day holiday weekend. As part of the program, troopers and motor carrier compliance officers will conduct road checks and concentrated patrols on secondary roadways.
Georgia State Patrol also reminds motorists to make sure their vehicle is in proper working order before hitting the road.
"Drivers should take every precaution to prevent being stranded on the road," McDonough said. "Once on the road, be alert for potential dangers by obeying the posted speed limit, not tailgating, allowing plenty of space before merging in front of tractor trailers, using a designated driver if alcohol will be in your plans, making sure everyone is wearing a seat belt, and taking the time to properly restrain children in a motor vehicle."
GSP is also participating in the “Bee a Buckler” safety program and Operation C.A.R.E. during the holiday weekend. Gov. Nathan Deal has proclaimed Labor Day weekend as “Bee a Buckler” Safe Driving Weekend. The program stresses the importance of wearing seatbelts and other safe driving practices. Operation C.A.R.E., or Combined Accident Reduction Effort, is a nationwide effort in which law enforcement officers attempt to reduce crashes, injuries and fatalities through high visibility enforcement and educational outreach.