VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) - As traffic moved along I-75 in Valdosta Friday, some of the drivers may already have been heading to their Thanksgiving destinations. That's why state troopers were reminding drivers to be extra cautious on the roads heading into the weekend.
"Number one, always wear your seat belt," said Cpl. Kris Kelch, with the Georgia State Patrol in Valdosta. "It don't matter if you're goin' down the street or across the country, you need to wear your seat belt."
Thanksgiving can be a busy time, but Cpl. Kelch said people also need to be mindful of the increased traffic. Tony Pelletier was traveling from Gwinnette County to Winter Park, Florida. He said he usually travels to Florida for Thanksgiving, but doesn't notice people being in more of a hurry.
"I don't think they're driving faster. In fact, there are some speed traps that you gotta watch out for. We just noticed that coming down here today," Pelletier explained.
Cpl. Kelch also emphasized that troopers will be stepping up their enforcement and looking for drunk drivers. "If you're gonna partake in alcohol, don't drink and drive. We will be out in full force during the holiday lookin' for drunks," Kelch said.
Keith Ponder was traveling from Ocala, Florida to Moultrie for a car show over the weekend and had some advice for drivers traveling for the holiday, too.
"Maintain your lane, be courteous to others, pay attention to the posted speed limit, and if you see somebody pullin' up on you on the back side, get over in the right lane and let 'em pass," Ponder said.
Troopers hoped every driver would follow these same rules, so that everyone would make it to their Thanksgiving dinners safe and sound.
State transportation officials noted that the lower gas prices could lead to more people on the roads, which means an increased risk for fatalities. But they also stressed that you can lower that risk simply by wearing your seat belt.