Yearly Reminder: Be careful on Georgia’s roads during the July 4th weekend

Car crash
Photo by deduhin on Deposit Photos

With a higher number of motorists expected on roads throughout the Peach State over the Fourth of July weekend, the Georgia State Patrol is once again reminding drivers to exercise caution as they head out to celebrate Independence Day.

This year, the holiday travel period is 78 hours long, and begins Friday, July 1, at 6 p.m., and ends Monday, July 4, at 11:59 p.m. Due to the holiday being on Monday, creating a four-day weekend, this year’s travel period is significantly longer than last year’s, which was 54 hours long.

Additionally, this year marks the fourth anniversary of the Georgia Hands-Free Law which became effective July 1, 2018. Since the law’s inception, troopers and officers have issued more than 84,000 Hands Free citations.

Last year, troopers and motor carrier officers issued 8,647 citations, 8,451 warnings, and made 321 DUI arrests.  State troopers also investigated 295 traffic crashes resulting in 171 injuries, and nine fatalities.

“More motorists will travel the roadways to spend time with family and friends celebrating the Independence Day holiday this weekend. Celebrating holidays should be fun, as well as safe,” said Colonel Christopher C. Wright, Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Safety.  “We urge all motorists to practice safe driving habits by following posted speed limits, using appropriate safety restraints, not driving impaired, paying attention to road conditions, and not using cellphones while driving will help you stay safe this weekend.”

This holiday period, state troopers and officers will be on high visibility patrols with a goal of keeping the number of traffic crashes, injuries, and fatalities to a minimum.

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.

“Crashes caused by distracted and impaired drivers can be prevented. Motorists should pay close attention to road conditions and make smart choices when planning to celebrate holiday activities by designating a sober driver,” added Colonel Wright.

According to AAA, nearly 47.9 million people will travel 50 miles or more from home over the Independence Day holiday weekend, an increase of 3.7% over 2021. Drivers should expect the longest travel delays during the afternoons of Thursday, June 30, and Friday, July 1.  Drivers in major U.S. cities may experience double the travel times compared to a normal trip.

Georgia’s holiday traffic county will be updated throughout the holiday period on the Department of Public Safety’s Twitter account https://twitter.com/ga_dps, and Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/gadepartmentofpublicsafety.


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