ATLANTA, GA (WALB) - With heavy loads of traffic on the horizon on Labor Day weekend, the Georgia Department of Transportation is suspending construction-related lane closures on Interstate highways and heavily traveled state routes from noon on Friday, until 5 a.m. on Tuesday.
"Labor Day weekend is the last holiday of the summer and we expect heavy traffic on our roads. We want to make travel to Georgia's lakes, parks and attractions easier and safer for all," said GDOT State Construction Engineer Marc Mastronardi. "Traffic fatalities have increased this year in comparison to last year. We encourage the public to Drive Alert and Arrive Alive. Take responsibility for yourself and your passengers. Make sure you buckle up, put down the cell phone and do not drive distracted or impaired. Just focus on driving."
Traffic will likely be heavy in various Metro Atlanta locations with college football games at the Georgia Dome on Friday and Saturday afternoons; Dragon Con and Atlanta Black Gay Pride Weekend activities in downtown Atlanta; plus the Decatur Book Festival and events at Six Flags Over Georgia.
The Department reminds travelers that crews may still be working in proximity to highways and state routes; and safety concerns may require some long-term lane closures to remain in place. Also, incident management or emergency, maintenance-related lane closures could become necessary at any time on any route.
"We typically see an increase in roadway fatalities during heavy travel holidays," Mastronardi said. "We cannot overemphasize the need to slow down, drive alert and take every pre-caution to protect yourself and your passengers."
For updated information about travel conditions on Georgia's interstates and state routes, GDOT advises travelers to call 511 or consult www.511ga.org before heading out.
Georgia 511 is a free service that provides real-time traffic and travel information statewide. Callers also can transfer to operators to request assistance or report incidents 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Georgia DOT also advises motorists that - in the event of a crash or breakdown - to never get out of the car on a freeway, unless your life is in imminent danger. Pull onto the nearest shoulder as far from the travel lanes as possible and call 511 for HERO assistance in Metro Atlanta, or 911 for medical emergency service anywhere in Georgia.
Georgia's Move-over Law requires drivers to move-over one lane when a law enforcement, emergency vehicle or construction crew is on the side of the road and displaying flashing emergency lights. If it is unsafe to move over, then slow down below the posted speed.
DriveAlert ArriveAlive calls attention to an alarming increase in roadway fatalities across Georgia, many resulting from preventable crashes and distracted driving. DriveAlert ArriveAlive implores motorists to buckle up; stay off the phone and no texting; and drive alert. Visit www.dot.ga.gov/DS/SafetyOperation/DAAA. #ArriveAliveGA