Law enforcement gears up for Fourth of July weekend traffic

Editorial credit: Gary L Hider /

Law enforcement officers throughout the state will be out in full force for the Fourth of July holiday weekend. The increased police presence is designed to reduce traffic accidents and fatalities on Georgia roadways.

This year, the holiday travel period is 54 hours long. It will begin at 6 p.m. on Friday, July 2, and end at 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, July 4. This year marks the third-year anniversary of the Georgia Hands-Free Law which went into effect July 1, 2018.

Last year, the holiday period was 54 hours long. During the holiday period, State troopers investigated 246 traffic crashes resulting in 155 injuries, and 13 fatal crashes resulting in 13 fatalities. Additionally, Troopers and Officers issued 8,048 citations, 8,978 warnings, and made 336 DUI arrests. Since July 1, 2018, Troopers and Officers have issued 82,029 Hands Free and distracted driving citations, with 408 citations issued last year during the July Fourth holiday period. 

“With states opening back up around the country, more motorists are traveling the roadways to spend time with friends and loved ones. Although we want everyone to celebrate the holidays, we encourage practicing safe driving habits such as watching the speed limits, making sure everyone is wearing the appropriate safety restraints, paying attention to the road, and not driving impaired.” said Colonel Chris C. Wright, Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Safety.  

“State Troopers and Officers will be on high visibility patrols with the goal of reducing traffic crashes, injuries, and fatalities, as well as discouraging impaired driving,” Colonel Wright added.

According to AAA, major metro areas across the U.S. could see nearly double the delays compared to typical drive times, with drivers in Boston and San Francisco likely to experience nearly three-times the delays.

“With travelers eager to hit the road this summer, we’re expecting nationwide traffic volumes to increase about 15% over normal this holiday weekend,” said transportation analyst Bob Pishue with INRIX. “Knowing when and where congestion will build can help drivers avoid the stress of sitting in traffic.”

This holiday period, the Georgia State Patrol is participating in the Operation Zero Tolerance campaign, a nationwide mobilization against impaired driving, as well as the 100 Days of Summer H.E.A.T. campaign. Troopers will be working alongside sheriff’s deputies and police officers to apprehend impaired drivers and crack down on aggressive speeders and distracted drivers.

The holiday traffic count will be updated throughout the holiday period on the Georgia Department of Public Safety Twitter page:

Photo: Gary L Hider /

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