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Weekend 'one of busiest'
Safety stressed on roads, water
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Forsyth County News
For many, Labor Day weekend means a final jaunt in the summer sun.

According to a Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office official, the department’s job is to make sure it’s a safe occasion as the unofficial end of summer recreation season approaches.

Sheriff’s Capt. Frank Huggins said uniform patrols from both the north and south precincts will be out in force.

In addition, the department’s special operations division will concentrate on parks along the lake, where many families often gather for the holiday.

“It’s a very busy weekend for the sheriff’s office,” Huggins said. “Labor Day [weekend] is one of the busiest. It’s the last weekend for everybody to get out and have fun on the lake.”

Huggins said some deputies will patrol Lanier on boats and personal water craft this weekend while others will use bicycles to keep an eye on park grounds.

There have been at least three drownings in the lake this year, with one of those on the Forsyth County side.

A 70-year-old Lilburn man drowned Aug. 1 while swimming to an island near Sawnee Campground. The other drownings occurred on the Hall County side of the lake.

According to Department of Natural Resources figures, there were five drownings and four boating-related deaths on Lanier in 2008.

Three of the drownings and three of the deaths were on the Forsyth side, which in 2007 recorded four drownings.

In addition to lakeside safety, the sheriff’s office plans safety checkpoints on roads around the county.

According to the Georgia Department of Public Safety, Labor Day weekend 2008 saw 19 people die in 1,660 wrecks across the state.

The Georgia State Patrol plans to concentrate on seat belt and child restraint violations, as well as impaired drivers.

Four of the traffic deaths in Georgia last year were alcohol related, according to the department of public safety.

In total, there could be 873,000 road travelers in Georgia over the next three days, according to a spokesman for AAA Auto Club South.

That’s a statewide travel decrease of about 22 percent, said Gregg Laskoski, managing director of public relations for the auto club.

Officials attribute that to Labor Day falling later on the calendar this year. In fact, the holiday hasn’t been this late since 1998.