ALBANY, GA (WALB) – A slightly improved economy means more people will hit the road, and state troopers will be there to watch them with their 'Take Back our Highways' program. They will target speeders, impaired drivers, and drivers who aren't wearing seat belts.
The Georgia State Patrol plans to be out in targeted groups and in single units on the side of the road. They say they'll be where you least expect them, and if you're breaking the rules of the road you will get a ticket.
More than 32 million drivers will take a trip away from home this weekend, among them Kayci Alday and her 8-month- old who are headed to Ft. Gaines and concerned about distracted drivers.
"Trying to get there and being fast, and not paying attention," said Kayci.
The same goes for Cliff McDowell who's planning a motorcycle ride to Columbus to see the Moving Wall and wants a greater law enforcement presence. "I'd love to see a whole bunch more law enforcement locally and statewide just to traffic the high aggressive drivers."
"Even being short staffed we're making sure everybody's out on the roadway and making them extremely safe this weekend," said State Trooper Cpl. Scott McClure.
That means targeting impaired drivers, but also those where a contributing factor could cause a crash.
"Failing to yield, following too closely, talking on the cell phone, you know pulling out, and speed of course," said McClure.
Just sitting on the highway makes a difference. "You are a deterrent, just by being still, you'll have people up the road flashing their lights which I personally don't mind, letting everyone know to slow down and that's our job, we're making the roads safe," the trooper said.
Last Memorial Day weekend was one of the least deadly with three fatalities, law enforcement hopes the numbers are even better this year.
One of the drivers I spoke with today said she typically drives from Albany to Mississippi for Memorial Day and says she's grateful when she sees troopers. Troopers also encourage driver making lengthy trips to make sure your car is in good working order.
The 'Take Back our Highways' program includes law officers in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, and Tennessee. The enforcement starts at 6:00PM Friday and runs though midnight Monday.