Law enforcement agencies across the state will be out in full force this holiday weekend, looking for impaired drivers and people not wearing their seatbelts.
Several Georgia agencies in border counties will be pairing with their counterparts across state lines for “Hands Across the Border.”
In Newnan, officers “will be out in force during the Labor Day weekend and will be aggressively enforcing traffic laws,” said Newnan Police Deputy Chief Rodney Riggs.
Impaired drivers and those not wearing their seatbelts will be the main targets, Riggs said.
“Seatbelts have been proven time and again to save lives in motor vehicle collisions,” he said. “No warnings on seatbelts. Click it or ticket.”
Riggs strongly encourages those who will be celebrating the holiday with alcohol to have a designated driver.
A DUI arrest and conviction “has a tremendous impact on the driver that they
may not consider,” Riggs said. That includes having your vehicle towed, having to post bond, fines of more than $1,000, a suspended license, and a criminal record.
Riggs also cautions drivers on possible high-traffic areas. Bullsboro Drive near the interstate is often congested, but might be even more so this weekend, with the Powers’ Crossroads festival and interstate construction.
The Georgia Department of Transportation is recommending that drivers take U.S. 29 or Ga. Hwy. 54/34 to bypass the interstate construction in Coweta.
The DOT is also announcing that the lane closures and construction on 75/85 through downtown Atlanta will continue throughout the weekend, with extremely heavy congestion.
However, the DOT is bringing in extra message signs and HERO units.
Locally, another traffic hot spot will be the intersection of Bullsboro Drive and Millard Farmer Industrial Boulevard/Hwy. 34 Bypass. That is the main route that visitors take to get to Powers’ Crossroads, though there are many other possible routes to take to the festival to avoid traffic.
“Expect heavy traffic, and adjust your routes and travel times accordingly,” Riggs said.
The state hasn’t yet released traffic fatality predictions for the holiday period.
Historically, Riggs said, Newnan has had a low number of traffic fatalities. And the NPD wants to keep it that way.
“The Newnan Police Department intends to do everything in our abilities to insure there are no fatalities during the Labor Day weekend,” Riggs said.
“We ask that everyone use their seatbelts, slow down, and be patient. We hope everyone has a safe and enjoyable holiday weekend.”
The Georgia State Patrol and other agencies are cracking down on speeders as part of 100 Days of Summer HEAT — Highway Enforcement of Aggressive Traffic.
“Our highway safety data shows speed, impaired driving and unrestrained driving are still the top three causes of fatal crashes, not just during the summer holidays but throughout the year,” said Bob Dallas, director of the Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety.
The summer-long HEAT campaign is designed to make high-risk drivers feel the heat on their checkbooks, license points and insurance rates, Dallas said.
Plus, going the speed limit can really save you money. “Your car’s fuel efficiency begins to rapidly decrease at speeds over 60 mph,” Dallas said. “Your own lead foot can lower your gas mileage by 5 percent around town and as much as 33 percent at highway speeds,” he said.
The speed limit along Interstate 85 in Coweta County is 60 mph because of construction.
“For all those high-risk drivers who don’t seem to care if speed is a killer on our roads, maybe it matters if it’s murder on their wallets,” Dallas said.
“We already know driving the speed limit saves lives and it saves gas. Why not do both this Labor Day?”
Article by Sarah Kay Campbell