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Officials urge caution for travelers

By Ed Brock

As the Memorial Day weekend comes to an end today public safety officials continue to urge travelers to be cautious.

The Georgia State Patrol and the Georgia Department of Motor Vehicle Safety are predicting that during the 78-hour Memorial Day holiday period, beginning at 6 p.m. Friday and ending at midnight today, there will be 2,250 crashes. Those crashes are expected to result in 575 injuries and 13 deaths.

"Plan your trips carefully, don't drink and drive and make sure your seatbelt is fastened at all times," said Col. George Ellis, commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Safety. "If you will be transporting children, take the time to make sure they are properly restrained as well."

Today is expected to see some of the highest amount of traffic of the weekend.

During the holiday period last year there were 2,311 accidents with 11 deaths and 554 injuries, according to the DMVS.

Also, throughout the summer drivers should be aware that there will be more children on the streets, according to the AAA Auto Club South. Drivers should give themselves a 20 to 30 second "visual lead" while driving, said Yoli Buss, AAA director of traffic safety.

Other AAA safety trips include exercising extra caution in neighborhoods and around playgrounds where children are likely to be playing, "scanning" between parked cars between which children can run into the road and make eye contact with children who are crossing the street the driver and child know each other's intentions.

Drivers should also be aware that police departments in the Atlanta area are participating in the "100 Days of Summer HEAT" and the "Click It or Ticket" operations designed to increase enforcement of seatbelt laws, speeding violations and more.