Holiday traffic: State patrol urges caution, focus when over the Independence Day weekend. DOT halting construction during the break. Sudden 10-cent gain in state gas prices (surely not holiday travel).

Holiday traffic: State patrol urges caution, focus when over the Independence Day weekend. DOT halting construction during the break. Sudden 10-cent gain in state gas prices (surely not holiday travel).

The Georgia State Patrol reports the Independence Day holiday travel period will stretch to 102 hours this year, beginning at 6 p.m. Wednesday, July 3, and ending at 11:59 p.m. on Sunday.

Last year, the holiday period was only 30 hours long. During the holiday period, state troopers investigated 150 traffic crashes that resulted in 90 injuries, and two fatalities. Additionally, troopers issued 6,367 citations (957 seat belts and 150 child restraints), 8,465 warnings, and made 123 DUI arrests.

This holiday period, the Georgia State Patrol is participating in the Operation Zero Tolerance campaign, a nationwide mobilization against impaired driving, as well as the 100 Days of Summer H.E.A.T. (Highway Enforcement of Aggressive Traffic) campaign. Troopers will be working alongside sheriff’s deputies and police officers to apprehend impaired drivers and crack down on aggressive speeders and distracted drivers.

According to AAA, the worst day to travel on the roadways in Atlanta is Friday, July 5, and the worst time for travel is between 5 – 7 p.m.

Memorial Day weekend statistics: 17 deaths

Traffic crashes across Georgia during the Memorial Day holiday travel period resulted in 17 traffic deaths.  The 78-hour holiday period began Friday, May 24, at 6 p.m. and ended Monday at 11:59 p.m. Statewide, Georgia State Troopers investigated 396 traffic crashes that resulted in 203 injuries.  Troopers also investigated 12 fatal crashes (resulted in 13 traffic deaths). The fatal crashes occurred in Bartow, Catoosa, Greene, Cook, Laurens, Camden, Fannin, Hancock, Lowndes, Worth, Coweta, and Heard counties.  Local agencies reporting traffic deaths during the holiday period were: Atlanta PD, Cobb Co. PD, Forsyth Co. S/O, and Milton PD. In addition to crash investigations, State Troopers arrested 357 people for driving under the influence.

Highway safety: To ease Independence Day holiday traffic congestion in Northwest Georgia, the Georgia Department of Transportation is suspending construction-related lane closures on interstate highways from noon Wednesday, July 3,  to 10 p.m. on Sunday, July 7. Lane closures will also be limited on state routes that directly serve major tourist and recreation centers.

“We hope this break in construction work will allow motorists to get to and from their holiday destinations with less congestion and less aggravation,” said Grant Waldrop, district engineer at the DOT office in White. “We understand that a lot of people are hitting the road for the Independence Day holiday and we would like to make it a little easier for them to go through northwest Georgia. We also truly hope they will do so cautiously, courteously, and will wear their seat belts.”

Georgia gas prices are up this week compared to a week ago. Georgia motorists are now paying an average price of $2.54 per gallon for regular unleaded gasoline. Monday’s state average is 10 cents more than a week ago, 6 cents less than this time last month, and 16 cents less than this time last year.

It now costs $38.10 to fill a 15-gallon tank of gasoline. That is $4.50 less than what motorists paid last May, when pump prices hit their 2018 peak of $2.84 per gallon.

“Georgia gas prices may seem high now, but the state average is still less than last year’s high,” said Montrae Waiters, spokeswoman, AAA – The Auto Club Group. “A major factor driving the increase includes the upcoming Independence Day holiday, which is expected to be a high-demand travel period (41.1 million Americans to travel by automobile).” 

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