0

Nov. 25: Drive Safer Sunday

By Jaya Franklin

jfranklin@henryherald.com

Tomorrow has been designated as "Drive Safer Sunday," by U.S. Sens. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga) and Johnny Isakson (R-Ga).

The Sunday after Thanksgiving is one of the busiest highway traffic days of the year, according to Sen. Isakson's office.

The senators picked Nov. 25, as a safe day in honor of Cullum Ownings, a Georgia college student, who died in a car accident in 2002, while driving back to school.

"We must do a better job of educating all drivers to be safer on the road, and I am proud to join with Senator Chambliss to designate one of the biggest travel days of the year as 'Drive Safer Sunday'," said Isakson.

According to estimates from the Georgia Department of Transportation's crash reporting unit, and the Georgia State patrol, about 18 traffic fatalities will occur across the state during the 102-hour holiday period beginning at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 21, and ending at midnight on Sunday, Nov. 25.

The department predicts that there will be 3,285 traffic crashes and 1,299 injuries. Last year, the Georgia Department of Public Safety reported that 19 people died, and there were 1,463 injuries and 3,510 crashes.

"So many accidents can be prevented simply by driving slower, paying closer attention to the road, and most importantly, by wearing a seatbelt," said Chambliss. "My hope is that this resolution will resonate in the minds of all holiday travelers and result in a significant decrease in vehicle crashes, injuries and fatalities this Sunday after Thanksgiving," added Chambliss.

Colonel Bill Hitchens, commissioner of Georgia Department of Public safety is advising travelers to plan ahead and be safe.

"Careful planning includes allowing plenty of time to reach your destination and anticipating travel delays," said Hitchens, in a press release. "Be sure to include rest breaks on extended trips to avoid becoming drowsy behind the wheel," he said.

Hitchens said Georgia State Troopers, Motor Carrier Compliance officers and Capitol police officers will be on duty throughout the holiday weekend.

-

On the net:

Georgia Department of Public Safety: http://dps.georgia.gov