19 deaths predicted during the holiday travel period - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

19 deaths predicted during the holiday travel period

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May 23, 2008

Albany -- The Georgia State Patrol is warning drivers to buckle and drive safe this Memorial Day weekend. Heavy holiday traffic is expected throughout the state and troopers and local law enforcement will be out in full force working to reduce the number of accidents.

Despite record high gas prices, about 1 million Georgians are expected to take to the roads for the kickoff of the summer holiday season which begins Friday at 6 PM.

Memorial Day weekend also launches Georgia's 100 Days of summer heat which will last through Labor Day and is designed to crack down on speeders and aggressive drivers.

Last year in Georgia, traffic accidents resulted in 10 fatalities, the lowest number in almost 30-years. But in 2005, the number was more than triple with 32, the highest in state history. This year the Department of Public Safety and the DOT are predicting 2,300 crashes accounting for more than 1,200 and 19 deaths during the 78-hour travel period.

The Georgia State Patrol is also warning motorists against drinking and driving and will beef patrols and road checks across the state.

Georgia DOT will be suspending it's I-75 construction projects in Crisp, Turner, Cook and Tift Counties will be suspended and all lanes of the busy interstate will be open to accommodate travelers through 10 o'clock Monday night.

For real time traffic and travel information you can the DOT 24-hours-a-day at 5-1-1.