VALDOSTA, Ga. (WALB) - This Fourth of July holiday weekend you may choose to hit the road instead of flying due to COVID-19 concerns.
The American Automobile Association says Americans will take roughly 700 million trips this summer. Of that, 97 percent of those are estimated to be road trips.
But how many will hit the road here in South Georgia?
State troopers and officers will be on heightened patrols during the 54-hour holiday period, starting Friday at 6 p.m and ending at midnight on Sunday.
“First and foremost, we want everyone to enjoy themselves. We understand with all the other things going on, sometimes people need a little outlet. We want people to enjoy themselves and have fun but at the same time we want to follow the rules of the road,” said Franka Young, Media Relations Specialist in Public Information Office at the Georgia Department of Public Safety.
Young wants everyone to be safe on the road.
“Follow the speed limits, don’t drive impaired, and make sure everyone is wearing seatbelts. And keep your hands off of your cell phones.”
This is the second year of the Georgia Hands-Free Law.
”I think it’s really based on if people feel comfortable going out. You know you’ll have that group that says ‘maybe I’ll stay in, especially with the number rising, maybe I’ll stay in and we’ll do things around the house.’ But you’ll always have that group that they are excited to be able to get out, because of the guidelines that have been placed under the executive order. That they may still try to go out and have some time of fun,” said Young
Officials hope the shorter holiday travel period will mean fewer accidents.
Last year’s holiday period was over a hundred hours. State troopers investigated 571 traffic crashes. Of that, there were 427 injuries and 17 fatalities.
As far as how high road travel will be this weekend, Young says she doesn’t really know what to expect. We just have to wait and see.
“We really don’t know, really have no idea if the numbers are going to be high or not, simply because everything else that’s going on with coronavirus and all of that. We really have no idea what’s going to be like this weekend,” said Young.
The Georgia Department of Public Safety also encourages everyone to stay safe when they’re not in their vehicles. By social distancing and wearing masks in public areas.