Police increase road patrols during holiday weekend
Dougherty County Police Officer issues seat belt citation
Traffic on S. Slappey Boulevard on Friday afternoon
Lt. Jason Hager, Dougherty County Police Department
ALBANY, GA (WALB) -
The Memorial Day Holiday weekend is here, and Dougherty county police are gearing up for a busy weekend.
They'll be keeping a close eye on the roads, and are asking motorists to stay safe.
Police said drivers should buckle up, slow down and allow themselves a little more time to get to their destinations due to expected heavy traffic. Graduation ceremonies, festivals and holiday travel are all expected to contribute to road congestion.
The eyes of the law will be beefing up patrols of these roads this weekend. And as excited travelers pile in the cars with their families, police are asking motorists to be cautious.
"We hope that the public will drink responsibly. Get a designated driver if they're going to drink. Slow down, watch the speed, because there's probably gonna be more traffic on the road," said Lt. Jason Hager, Dougherty County Police Department.
The Georgia State Patrol and other law enforcement agencies said they'll be patrolling secondary roads in addition to interstates.
One thing police will definitely be on the lookout for are seat belt violations. So make sure to buckle up before you get behind the wheel. Officers say roughly ten-percent of drivers don't wear seat belts, and hope the click-it-or-ticket campaign will remind drivers to be safe.
"It started on the 20th of May and goes until June the 2nd I believe. And it's targeting seat belt usage as well as other things," said Hager.
Hager said the Dougherty County Police will have a full force this weekend, and said other agencies may be working extra hours or pulling extra duties.
"We are expecting for the traffic to be a little bit higher maybe. Folks going to the beach, going to visit family and stuff like that," Hager said.
His advice to motorists is simple.
"Slow down, buckle up. Don't use your phone whenever you're driving. You know, stuff like that," said Hager.
Police said any distractions that take attention away from the roads even for a fraction of a second could be devastating, so keep your eyes on the roads.
State troopers reported more than 300 arrests for drunk driving last year. They say driving under the influence isn't worth the risk of killing yourself or others. Hager said drivers also shouldn't text behind the wheel, and said motorists should pull to the side of the road for phone conversations.
Records show 2005 had the highest number of traffic deaths during Memorial Day weekend, with 32 people killed in crashes. 1979 had the lowest recorded number, with ten fatalities.
Police ask motorists to call 911 if they come across drivers displaying erratic behavior or appear to be driving under the influence.