Police plan ?aggressive' patrols this weekend

By Ed Brock

Law enforcement officers will be working hard this Labor Day.

"We're going to do aggressive traffic patrols all weekend," Clayton County Police Department Sgt. Brian Danekes said. "We're going to concentrate on impaired driving and aggressive driving."

The Georgia State Patrol is predicting 19 traffic-related deaths over the 78-hour holiday weekend. The GSP is also predicting 2,018 traffic accidents with 804 injuries.

"Last year, nine of the 17 people killed were in fatal crashes that involved alcohol, drugs or a combination," GSP Commander Col. George Ellis said. "Additionally, 10 of the people killed were either not wearing a seat belt or belt use could not be determined."

Troopers will also be out in concentrated patrols as part of the Click It or Ticket program. Danekes said drivers should remember that a new state law requires them to change lanes away from any emergency vehicle stopped by the side of the road with emergency lights on, including highway maintenance vehicles and tow-trucks.

If it is unsafe to change lanes the driver is required to slow down and prepare to stop if necessary.

In Morrow the police will be assisted by the city's newly organized Community Emergency Response Team.

"Their role in this is just as an extra set of eyes," Morrow Police Department Maj. Charlie Sewell said. "They have been trained on what to look for."

As gasoline prices have risen to high levels, Precision Tune Auto Care is offering tips on gas conservation to drivers.

Keep tires properly inflated, avoid quick starts and stops, maintain steady speeds and do not use the air conditioner in the city.

Once again, the Georgia Department of Transportation will suspend maintenance-related lane closings for the weekend but may begin again as early as 9 p.m. Monday.

County and city offices will be closed Monday.