Officials push for safety before Memorial Day weekend
LAKE BLACKSHEAR, GA (WALB) - The Georgia State Patrol and the Department of Natural Resources are reminding citizens to stay safe over Memorial Day weekend.
DNR rangers have prepared for a busy weekend out on Lake Blackshear.
Thousands of people are expected to hit the water to celebrate the holiday.
For many it will be the first time back out on the water this year.
"Freshen up on your boating laws. Make sure you're familiar with your boat,"said Lt. Col. Jeff Weaver with the Georgia DNR.
They're also looking for people who don't have life jackets.
Last year more than 200 people died in boating accidents in Georgia alone.
Lt. Colonel Weaver reminds boaters that alcohol is allowed but drivers need to be aware.
"You can't be less safe. You can't be impaired out there operating a boat. We're looking for that," said Weaver.
The DNR has partnered with the state patrol and the Governor's Office of Highway Safety on the push for safety.
Their message extends to the roadway.
"If you're going to drink, make sure you have a designated driver. There's no excuse for that. It's an action that you control so use a little common sense," said Colonel Mark McDonough with the Georgia State Patrol.
Troopers also look for seat belt violators and distracted drivers.
"All the data shows that if you wear your seat belt in a modern car in particular, in conjunction with airbags, it is going to keep you in that area where there's room in there to live. It will keep you safe," said McDonough.
"Texting and driving is against the law in this stat and we're seeing more and more cases made, and folks, it's serious business. There's no text worth your life," said Governor's Office of Highway Safety Director Harris Blackwood.
On the water and the roads law enforcers said it all comes down to one thing though.
"Pay attention; slow down a little bit. Keep your distance and be respectful of others," said Weaver.
The State Patrol has also launched a campaign against drunk drivers.
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