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South Carolina, Georgia troopers boost traffic enforcement

Georgia reports 7 traffic fatalities

Friday, Nov. 29, 2013 7:27 PM
Last updated Saturday, Nov. 30, 2013 1:42 AM
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If you’re traveling through South Carolina or Georgia this Thanksgiving weekend, expect to see the South Carolina Highway Patrol and the Georgia State Patrol out in full force.

Troopers have been lining the roads and operating DUI checkpoints since Wednesday, Lance Cpl. Judd Jones, of the South Carolina Highway Patrol, said, and they will continue to crack down on seat belt and speeding violations through Sunday evening.

“We’re trying to be proactive in our enforcement,” he said. “Our goal is to have zero fatalities on our roadways.”

Jones couldn’t provide a number for the weekend so far, but said there have been 684 fatalities across the state in 2013, compared to 776 in 2012.

That number could continue to decline as seat belt usage rises, Jones said.

“Our seat belt usage has continued to increase around the state,” he said. “That’s the one thing that’s helping fatalities stay down.”

In Georgia, there have been seven traffic fatalities since Wednesday evening, according to the Georgia Department of Public Safety Web site. Last year, state troopers reported 11 fatalities during the Thanksgiving holiday period.

The highest number of traffic deaths ever recorded for the holiday period was 43 in 1969, according to a statement from the state’s public safety department. The low mark was set in 1949, when there were just four fatalities statewide.

Georgia State Patrol troopers will keep an eye out for impaired drivers this weekend. During last year’s holiday period, state troopers arrested 324 for DUI, according to the statement.

“Enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday, but also know that if you drive impaired, you will go to jail and your vehicle will be impounded,” said Colonel Mark McDonough, the commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Safety, on Monday.

The Georgia State Patrol has reported more than 200 crashes so far this Thanksgiving holiday, resulting in more than 119 injuries.

In South Carolina, the highway patrol locks down on roadways for the duration of the week.

Jones said the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and the following weekend see more drivers on the road who are entering and leaving the state.

South Carolina Highway Patrol’s Troop 7 pays special attention to I-20 and Atomic Road during the holiday season, Jones said, but troopers also analyze traffic statistics in the weeks leading up to major holidays in order to address other problem areas.

Targeted areas should expect see DUI checkpoints and an increase in trooper presence to influence good driving behavior.

“We can’t do it by ourselves,” Jones said. “We ask anyone who sees an impaired driver to give us a call. We want to keep the roadways safe.”


For adults wishing to add alcohol to their celebrations, AAA is teaming with Bud Light to offer free tows and rides to a safe location within a 10-mile radius through Sunday for people in Georgia, Florida and Tennessee through the Tow to Go program. It is available to AAA members and nonmembers alike.

For service, call (855) 2-TOW-2-GO or (855) 286-9245.

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GiantsAllDay 11/30/13 - 03:37 am
Ok you guys, throw me in jail

Ok you guys, throw me in jail for not wearing a seatbelt. Remember folks, Georgia only has misdemeanors and felonies. No infractions in Georgia. Only state in the union that does it this way? Why? I wrote my senator and my house rep in Atlanta. Both of them told me to f---c---k off. Why?

david jennings
david jennings 11/30/13 - 08:32 am

I welcome the presence of law enforcement anywhere I see them. Of course, I abide by the law so I don't have any problem with police. There are enough offensive drivers to keep officers busy 24/7 on Bobby Jones alone.

Sweet son
Sweet son 11/30/13 - 01:09 pm
Tree's Troopers!

They were having a big day yesterday morning on Westbound Bobby Jones at Gordon Highway! Saw at least 5 of Tree's 'T' cars in the mix. Mind you I don't have any problem with this but I enjoyed the show. I've even pulled up and watched 'our' deputies run laser and even though they really didn't like it they tolerated my presence. As it should be!

oldredneckman96 11/30/13 - 04:01 pm
Safe Roads

How about you go down to your car insurance company, just as they look up your driving record to see how much a risk you are tell them whether or you plan to buckle up or not. Most insurance companies will have one rate for you belted and a different one for unbelted. Same with the motorcycle helmet. Now when you are in a wreck and are unbelted it will be too late to try to put it on, but you had plenty of time to make the decision when you bought insurance. As for impaired driving, cell phone texting, drinking, stoned or what ever, if you cause a wreck you pay for the wreck. Well, the insurance company pays those you damaged, you have to pay the insurance back before you can get insurance again. Finally, if it does not have the ability to keep up in every way in traffic, does not have insurance, pay road taxes, and meet the standards of a DOT approved road vehicle, take it off the road and crush it. Merry Christmas.

specsta 11/30/13 - 06:08 pm
Approach With Caution

David Jennings wrote - "Of course, I abide by the law so I don't have any problem with police."

Here's a bit of insight for you - there are many, many law-abiding citizens who have problems with the police. Perhaps you never heard of the terms "racial profiling" or "stop and frisk". Perhaps you've never encountered a cop with a chip on his shoulder. Maybe you've never had someone make a false report against you. But many folks have - and they have broken no laws.

What a strange land to occupy in one's mind to believe that if you are a law-abiding citizen, the police will always be your best buddy, your civil-servant friend. It wasn't too long ago that a citizen in Augusta at the Chevron station asked the cops for help, was determined to be unruly, got Tazed numerous times - and wound up on a slab in the morgue. Maybe you don't remember the kid who got beaten up by cops - while in his own neighborhood. And the kid had done nothing wrong. And that's just local stuff.

Internal Affairs at police agencies across America have files on top of files of actions taken by cops against innocent civilians. Rapes, murders, assaults, planted evidence, coerced confessions, etc.

The crux of the matter is this - being a law-abiding citizen is no guarantee that your rights will not be violated by a rogue cop. You could be John Q. Perfect Citizen and if you make one mistake, you could find two clips of 9mm ammo unloaded into your behind. Just ask (if you could) the former FAMU football player who was in an accident in NC and ran to the cops for help - and wound up on a slab in the morgue.

InChristLove 12/01/13 - 12:04 pm
specsta, when you get that

specsta, when you get that chip off your shoulder, you'll realize this article and Mr. Jennings comment are relating to traffic violations and law enforcement patrol over this Thanksgiving holiday season.....not about an irrate man fighting with his fiancé and flagging down police who ends up being tazed to subdue him, unfortunately resulting in his death or about an irresponsible juvenile who runs from police when they order him to stop so they can question him concerning a recent burglary attempt.

Two situations where laws were broken (as far as I know disorderly conduct and running from police are both still offenses).

This article is about traffic violations and if you maintain your lane, go the appropriate legal speed, obey traffic laws, like Mr. Jennings stated, you've got nothing to worry about.

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