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Authorities: Pack caution for holiday travel
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Forsyth County News

Arrive alive

Forsyth County Sheriff's Capt. Frank Huggins recommended the following safety tips for holiday travel:

* Allow extra time to get to your destination.

* Avoid unsafe practices like speeding, tailgating and illegal passing.

* Be on the lookout for oversized recreational vehicles that may be traveling on unfamiliar roads.

* If planning a long trip, plan breaks and switch drivers every few hours

* Watch out for wildlife.

* Avoid distractions like talking on a cell phone or turning to see passengers in the back seat

* Watch weather reports and try to plan the bulk of travel during the day when conditions are safer.

* Don't drink and drive.

* Check and make sure the vehicle is ready for the trip, including brakes, tires, hoses and windshield wipers.

* Have vehicle serviced and make sure everything is functioning before traveling.

* Buckle up and make sure everyone in the car is wearing a seat belt.

Forsyth County law enforcement officials are urging motorists to buckle up and drive safely while traveling over the long holiday weekend.

As part of the November Click It or Ticket campaign, authorities statewide are watching for travelers who are not buckled up.

Forsyth County Sheriff's Capt. Frank Huggins said deputies also will be on the lookout for unsafe drivers.

"We will be conducting safety checkpoints, as we always do during holiday periods, to make sure that our roads are safe for everyone," Huggins said.

Cumming Police Chief Mike Eason also cautioned drivers.

"We just want to stress to everybody as they make their long trips to be sure to rest and drive safely, there will be a lot of people on the roads," Eason said. "Just continue to be safe. Be careful and enjoy the holiday."

The 102-hour Thanksgiving holiday travel period, which runs from 6 p.m. Wednesday to midnight Sunday, is always one of the busiest of the year. It can also be one of the deadliest.

According to the Governor's Office of Highway Safety, wrecks over Thanksgiving last year took the lives of five people in Georgia.

Seven more died the next day and 14 more fatal crashes occurred before the holiday weekend ended.

Bob Dallas, director of the highway safety department, emphasized the importance of wearing seat belts.

"For those who think, 'It just can't happen to me,' there were 2,744 crashes in Georgia alone during that short holiday travel period," he said. "What are your chances of surviving one without the safety of a seat belt?"

Huggins also warned against drinking and driving.

"Remember that impairment starts with the first drink," Huggins said. "Never risk the safety of yourself, your family or others by drinking and driving."

Huggins said motorists should also check their vehicles before getting on the road to ensure they are ready for the trip.

"Buckle up and make sure that everyone is safely buckled up in the car," he said. "Seat belts save lives, it's an indisputable fact."

Two unrelated wrecks on Tuesday were reminders of the dangers on area roads.

At least one person was taken to a hospital after a two-vehicle wreck about 6 p.m. on Bethelview Road, just past Polo Fields Parkway.

What caused the collision between a truck and sport utility vehicle was still under investigation. Further details were not available.

A wreck hours earlier on Hwy. 369 in northeastern Forsyth claimed the life of a 27-year-old man. The Toyota he was driving struck a school bus that had just dropped off its load of students at nearby Little Mill Middle School.