Five deaths reported on Georgia roads

SMYRNA – There were five fatalities on Georgia roads this Christmas, the state patrol said Sunday evening.

As of 6 p.m. Sunday, the Georgia State Patrol said it worked 359 wrecks with 157 injuries. Fatalities were reported in Albany, Brunswick, Dalton, Jasper and Savannah; complete numbers from agencies statewide were not yet available.

As part of both the Christmas and New Year’s holidays, and authorities statewide are keeping a vigilant eye on the roads and cracking down on drunken drivers, speeders and motorists not wearing seat belts.

During the 2009 Christmas holiday, there were 1,948 crashes statewide with a total of 809 injuries and 11 deaths. During the 2009 New Year’s holiday, authorities worked 2,083 wrecks statewide with 789 injuries and 11 deaths.

“Impaired drivers and people not using safety equipment will be our top priorities,” Col. Bill Hitchens, commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Safety, said last week in a news release announcing the increased patrols. “We want everyone to enjoy the holiday season while making traffic safety a priority as they travel.”

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