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Safety urged over holiday
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Forsyth County News
Driving tips

Forsyth County Sheriff Ted Paxton recommends the following safe driving tips for the holidays:

• Plan trips early. Don’t leave home without knowing the route and planning stops along the way.

• Tell family and friends the route and expected time of arrival.

• Make sure your vehicle is in excellent condition and have it serviced. Check tires for wear and correct air pressure. Make sure all lights are working.

• Buckle up.

• Choose the best time to travel and try to avoid crowded roads. Holiday traffic is usually lighter in the morning.

• Drive alert and sober. Get a good night’s rest before leaving and don’t drink the night before.
Local and state authorities are cautioning motorists to drive safely over the long Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

The 102-hour travel period begins at 6 p.m. today and lasts until midnight Sunday.

The Governor’s Office of Highway Safety’s Click It or Ticket campaign and Rural Roads seatbelt crackdown kicked off Nov. 16.

“As always during the holidays, our deputies will be concentrating on impaired and irresponsible drivers,” Forsyth County Sheriff’s Capt. Frank Huggins said. “We’re going to do everything we can to make sure no one’s holiday is spoiled by an impaired driver.

“If you drink alcoholic beverages, don’t drive. Use a designated driver or call a taxi.”

In addition, sheriff’s deputies will patrolling local shopping centers on foot and horseback over the weekend.

Authorities will be checking for seat belts and child seats as well as impaired drivers.

The sheriff’s office has also cautioned against driving while distracted, which includes talking or texting on cell phones.

Authorities have said “inattentiveness while driving” is the common thread in each of the seven fatal wrecks this year on Forsyth County roads, the most recent of which was Nov. 2.

According to a news release from the state, there were 3,815 crashes during last year’s Thanksgiving travel period statewide. Nineteen people died in those wrecks and 1,457 were injured.

“The stats still show too many people dying in those crashes because they didn’t buckle up,” the release states.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 64 percent of those killed in nighttime crashes in 2008 and 46 percent of those killed in daytime crashes were not wearing seatbelts.

Those planning to travel to or through Atlanta over the holiday period should also expect traffic congestion and delays, according to the state Department of Transportation.

The agency will suspend construction-related lane closures on all interstates and major state routes from 5 a.m. Wednesday until midnight Sunday.
Still, there will be many travelers and congestion around shopping malls.

Metro Atlanta’s high congestion areas include the downtown connector, the top end of Interstate 285, Ga. 400 north and south, I-85 in Gwinnett County, I-75 in Cobb County and I-75 south in Clayton and Henry counties.

Motorists should watch for permanent lane closures on I-85 in Meriweather and Coweta counties, I-75 in south Georgia and I-95 on the coast.

Current road conditions can be found online at or by calling 511.