(Atlanta, GA) – As the New Year’s holiday travel period rapidly approaches, the Georgia State Patrol is reminding drivers to use extra caution when traveling across the state. Colonel Mark W. McDonough, Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Safety, said state troopers will be on patrols looking to spot impaired drivers and people not using seat belts.
Fortunately, the GSP reported zero traffic fatalities during the 30-hour Christmas Holiday period earlier this week. The New Year’s holiday period will also be 30 hours and begins New Year’s Eve at 6 p.m. and ends New Year’s Day at midnight.
Statewide, during the 102-hour New Year’s holiday period last year, 3,691 crashes that resulted in 1,164 injuries and seven fatalities were reported.
“Plan your trips carefully and allow plenty of time to reach your destinations,” Colonel McDonough said. “Make sure everyone is buckled up and that children are properly restrained. Don’t text and drive, and obey the posted speed limit,” he said.
Troopers are cautioning drivers to plan for a sober designated driver if alcohol consumption will be part of the celebrations. During last year’s New Year’s holiday, 352 people were arrested. “This is a festive time of the year and we want everyone to enjoy the holiday season, but we also want everyone to be safe out on our roads,” added the commissioner.
The New Year’s holiday travel periods is also a mobilization period for Operation Zero Tolerance. Georgia State Troopers will be teaming up with law enforcement officials from across the state for high visibility enforcement patrols that target impaired drivers.