Authorities stepping up patrols for Memorial Day

ATLANTA — Authorities nationwide are planning to increase patrols as people take to the roads for Memorial Day, an often deadly weekend on the nation’s roads.

AAA is predicting the largest volume of traffic for the Memorial Day holiday since 2005. More than 34 million people are expected to drive somewhere for the holiday.

“The Memorial Day weekend is always a heavily traveled holiday weekend, and historically one of the deadliest on our roadways,” Georgia Department of Public Safety Commissioner Mark W. McDonough said in a news release. “If you will be traveling this holiday period, make sure everyone is properly restrained, obey the posted speed limit, put the cell phone away and designate a sober driver if alcohol consumption will be in your plans.”

In many jurisdictions, including Georgia, troopers and local police will partake in the “Click It or Ticket” seat belt awareness campaign. More than half of those people killed in traffic crashes in Georgia last year were not wearing seat belts, and authorities say many of those killed would likely be alive today had they been buckled up, numbers that mirror the national trend.

“The seat belt is the primary thing that will keep you safe in the event you are in a traffic crash, and I just don’t understand why any motorist would not buckle up and have that peace of mind when they are riding in a vehicle,” Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety Director Harris Blackwood said in a news release. “We are extremely fortunate that our state law enforcement agencies work together to ensure the safety of everyone on the road and water.”

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