Authorities join forces for July Fourth land, lake patrol

Friday, June 28, 2013 4:02 PM
Last updated Saturday, June 29, 2013 12:01 AM
  • Follow Latest News

Authorities announced this week that they are joining forces to keep roads and waterways safe during the July Fourth holiday, which statistics show is one of the deadliest weeks of the year.

Increased enforcement will begin at Thurmond Lake on Saturday with Operation Dry Water, a multi-agency initiative launched in 2009. The weeklong sweep will feature park rangers conducting safety inspections on open water and at public landings to reduce accidents and fatalities related to boating under the influence.

Intensified road patrols will run through July 7.

“Troopers and officers will not hesitate to arrest an impaired driver and tow their vehicle,” said Col. Mark W. Mc­Donough, the commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Safety.

He said the Georgia State Pa­trol will work with local police on “concentrated patrols and road checks” as part of Ope­ra­tion Zero Tolerance, which targets impaired drivers during the summer travel period.

Lance Cpl. Judd Jones, a spokesman for the South Carolina Highway Patrol, said its troopers intend to focus on nighttime seat-belt violations, a leading cause of fatalities in South Carolina.

During 2011 and 2012, 71 percent of traffic fatalities in South Carolina over Independence Day weekend – 10 of 14 crashes – involved drunken drivers. On top of that, Judd said that in the past year 64 percent of nighttime fatalities involved motorists who were not wearing seat belts – compared with 49 percent during the day.

The lone fatal wreck in the Aiken area during the 2012 July Fourth holiday involved a woman in Orangeburg County who wasn’t wearing a seat belt.

The Georgia State Patrol has reported seven deaths since Memorial Day, including one in Washington County.

“Please buckle up,” Jones said. “Seat belts are the No. 1 safety device a motor-vehicle passenger has.”

State troopers and park rangers urged residents not to drive if they plan to consume alcohol and to choose a designated driver before the celebration begins, especially on the water.

Conservation rangers have made 71 arrests this year on Georgia lakes and waterways. There were 180 arrests in 2012.

Thurmond Lake inspections are planned from 10 a.m. to noon at Dorn Lan­ding on Thursday and Parks­ville Landing on July 6. Boating safety and enforcement officers said they plan to look for items such as safety equipment and boat and motor registration.

“We are dedicated to keeping boaters safe on our waters,” said Lt. Col. Jeff Weaver, of the Georgia Department of Natural Resour­ces. “Boating is a safe and enjoyable pastime when people stay alert and follow the rules.”

SEE SOMETHING?

To report reckless-driving violations, call (800) 922-5431 for a boat or *477 (*GSP) for a car.

Comments (4) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
Riverman1
90855
Points
Riverman1 06/29/13 - 11:07 am
0
0
" Boating safety and

" Boating safety and enforcement officers said they plan to look for items such as safety equipment and boat and motor registration."

How do you register a motor?

Sweet son
11104
Points
Sweet son 06/29/13 - 11:18 am
0
0
@Riverman1

Yesterday it was Seenit and me. Today it is you and me. We must be singing the same song on the same verse and the same line.

I also thought that it was questionable to register a motor. Same as the idea that you have to register a gun. Not required.

Riverman1
90855
Points
Riverman1 06/29/13 - 11:46 am
0
0
Sweetson, I agree with both

Sweetson, I agree with both of those. I thought it was something I didn't know about for a while. Thanks.

dstewartsr
20389
Points
dstewartsr 06/29/13 - 05:54 pm
0
0
Rolling Thunder,

"Part Deux- Keeping the Peasants Cowed"

((Because the first one was such a crowd pleaser))

Back to Top

Top headlines

Local merchants welcome Small Business Saturday

With having to compete with e-commerce and national retailers during the holiday season, local merchants welcome the spotlight that comes with Small Business Saturday.
Search Augusta jobs