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May 27, 2005

Albany-- It seems that most South Georgians have already begun their Memorial Day getaways, and the rest are counting down the minutes.

The price of gasoline isn't much deterrent, either. While it's not a record levels, it's high enough. A spot check in East Albany this morning showed that regular gas was about $1.95 a gallon at most outlets. That price is substantially better than what motorists are paying in Alabama and Florida.

The national average price for regular gas is $2.10 a gallon.

Still, it doesn't seem like high gas prices will get in the way of Floridians and their vacation. Almost two million residents are expected to hit the road this weekend. In the Sarasota-Bradenton-Venice market, a gallon of unleaded gas can cost about $2.19. That's down about 12 cents from the record price of $2.31 set in Southwest Florida on April eleventh, but still up about 14 cents from last year's Memorial Day weekend.

A Triple-A spokesman says many Floridians are staying in-state for the long weekend, visiting Orlando's theme parks or the state's beaches.

Triple-A Alabama's daily survey of 60,000 self-serve stations shows gasoline prices down almost penny from yesterday. The average price for regular unleaded is $2.02 a gallon.

Meanwhile, the Alabama Department of Public Safety estimates that 17 people may die in traffic accidents across the state. The 78-hour holiday travel period begins at 6:00PM and ends at midnight Monday. Alabama troopers will concentrate their patrols on all interstates and two popular vacation routes -- Highways 231 and 331, south of Montgomery.

Last year, 18 people were killed on state roads during the holiday period. This year the GSP and Georgia Department of Motor Vehicle Safety are predicting 2,550 wrecks, 650 injuries, and 17 traffic deaths.

AAA expects about 31 million Americans to travel by car during, up over two percent over Memorial Day weekend, 2004.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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