Update: Labor Holiday traffic fatalities more than quadruple in 2018

Press release from the Georgia Department of Public Safety

Update from GSP on Sept. 4

Traffic crashes across Georgia during the Labor Day holiday travel period resulted in 18 traffic deaths. This year, the holiday travel period was 78-hours long. It began at 6 p.m. on Fri., Aug. 31, and ended at 11:59 p.m. on Mon., Sept. 3.

Statewide, Georgia State Troopers investigated 446 traffic crashes that resulted in 203 injuries and nine fatalities. In addition to the traffic crash investigations, 322 people were arrested for driving under the influence, while 9,008 citations and 12,180 warnings were issued.

Local agencies reporting traffic deaths during the holiday period were: Cobb County PD, Clayton County PD, Richmond County SO; and Union City PD.

Read the full press release at this link.


By 6 p.m. on Labor Day, six hours short of the full Labor Day Holiday Travel period, Georgia State Patrol reported 18 traffic fatalities on Georgia roads, more than four times more than the same period in 2017. Last year only four fatalities were reported during the Labor Day travel period.

Initial Story

(Atlanta)—It’s almost Labor Day, and the Georgia State Patrol is reminding motorists to practice safe driving habits as they travel throughout the state this weekend.

“Troopers will be on special Labor Day patrols for 78 hours straight,” said Colonel Mark W. McDonough, commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Safety. “They will be keeping an eye out for speeders, drivers who text, and those posing a dangerous risk to other motorists on the road,” he added. The patrols will take place from 6 p.m. on Friday, September 1, to 11:59 p.m. on Monday, September 3.

Last year, during a similar holiday patrol period, troopers investigated 448 crashes, which resulted in 283 injuries. Four of those crashes were fatal, killing four people. In addition to crash investigations, troopers wrote 8,412 citations; 11,562 warnings; and arrested 249 motorists for driving under the influence.

Traffic will be a bit heavier than on a normal weekend, as most people consider Labor Day the unofficial end of summer, and use the extended weekend to take their final summer trips, said Colonel McDonough. He added, the more vehicles on the road, the higher the chances are for a traffic crash to occur, which is why it is all the more important to observe the traffic laws and keep safety a priority.

Here are some travel tips to keep in mind this holiday weekend:

  • Observe the posted speed limit. When you exceed the speed limit, you reduce the amount of available time needed to avoid a traffic crash.
  • Do not drive impaired. Designate a sober driver, call a taxi, rideshare service, friend or family member to help you get home safely.
  • Make sure everyone in the vehicle wears a seatbelt. Also, properly install child safety seats. Georgia law requires children under the age of eight to be in either a car seat or booster seat suitable for their age, weight and height.
  • Do not drive distracted. Refrain from performing any activity that may take your focus off the road, such as texting while driving. On July 1, 2018, the Hands-Free Georgia Act became effective. It prohibits all drivers from using hand-held cell phones while driving.  A link to the complete law can be found at www.gahighwaysafety.org.
  • Do not leave children and pets in hot cars. Regularly check the back seat and back floor area for children and animals, each time you exit your vehicle.
  • Stay alert of your surroundings and show common courtesy to other motorists and pedestrians on the roads.

Throughout the holiday period, the traffic fatality count is available on the Georgia Department of Public Safety Twitter page: https://twitter.com/ga_dps

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