Every year, the Georgia State Patrol increases patrolling and enforcement efforts around the Fourth of July to minimize the number of car accidents around the holiday. This year’s crackdown on drunk driving begins tonight.
The campaign Operation Zero Tolerance kicks off at 9 pm tonight, and will last through the fifth of July. It will include the participation of more than 500 police agencies in Georgia, all taking part in the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety “100 Days of Summer HEAT” initiative. Enforcement officers will be conducting additional patrols across Georgia highways, and will be cracking down especially hard on intoxicated motorists. The 100 Days of Summer HEAT initiative will run through the Labor Day weekend. The initiative includes crackdowns targeting drunk drivers, speeders, as well as motorists violating seatbelt and child safety seat laws.
Every year, we celebrate the declaration of our independence with great fanfare. We burst fireworks, and host barbecues. Unfortunately, the Fourth of July is also the single deadliest day of the year, with the maximum number of accidents occurring on this day. Between 1986 and 2002, an average of 161 people died in automobile accidents on Fourth of July.
You can’t avoid the traveling that goes hand in hand with the holiday, but you can take steps to make sure you’re safe on the roads. It’s best to drive keeping in mind that it is the biggest holiday of the year, and there are likely to be hundreds of motorists around you driving under the influence of alcohol. Stay within speed limits, avoid driving while drunk, and wear your seat belts.
Besides the Fourth of July, New Year’s Eve, Christmas, Memorial Day and Saint Patrick’s Day are high on the list of alcohol-heavy days that see a sharp spike in drunk driving accidents. These holidays tend to see more numbers of motorists on the road. Add to that the fact that more than a few of them will be in no condition to drive, and it’s easy to see why Georgia State Patrol and emergency rescue teams are so busy on these days.