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Forsyth authorities stress road, water safety over holiday weekend

FORSYTH COUNTY — As Americans across the nation continue preparations for their Independence Day celebrations, authorities are urging safety on roads and waterways.

The July Fourth weekend is “one of our busier holidays” due to high volumes of traffic on roads and Lake Lanier, according to Robin Regan, a spokesman for the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office.

“Please always make sure you have a designated driver or find another option like a cab or staying at a friend’s or where you’re drinking,” Regan said.

Traffic is expected to be heavy all weekend, beginning Thursday after work and continuing through Sunday, so travelers should be aware of their surroundings and other drivers.

Starting today, Georgians can buy and use previously illegal fireworks, which come with additional safety concerns for the celebratory weekend.

“Pay attention to the new laws, but we want people to know they are allowed,” Regan said.

Many people who get on the road will be heading for Lanier or another body of water this weekend.

“People on the water should educate themselves about boating laws, the same as they would in a vehicle,” Regan said. “Make sure everyone is wearing their life jackets.”

He said the sheriff’s office wants people to enjoy the holiday while still stressing “that alcohol and boating can be a deadly mix and to always maintain safe practices on the water.”

Even those who don’t get on a boat should exercise caution. Swimmers can stay safe by remaining in a designated swimming area with a life jacket.

“If they venture too far out into the lake,” Regan said, “there’s a bigger change of a boater striking them because people are harder to see when they’re swimming.”