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Wrecked-car displays urge safe driving

By Linda Looney-Bond

lbond@news-daily.com

As a reminder to motorists to drive safely during the holiday season, the Clayton County Police Department has placed vehicles that were involved in wrecks at four locations around the county.

"We want to keep the vision of a safe holiday season at the forefront of our citizens' thoughts, during the holiday festivities," said Officer Otis Willis, III, a spokesperson for the police department.

"It's all about saving lives and planting the seed of how precious life is," Willis said.

The project is also aimed at reminding citizens not to drink and drive. Signs on display beside the wrecked vehicles read: "Enjoy the holiday, arrive alive. Don't drink and drive."

"We hope that those who observe these displays will notify others and take the time to visit one of the sites with our youth, friends and loved ones to stress the importance of being a responsible driver," said Clayton County Police Chief Jeff Turner, in a written statement.

"I came across this idea, because, in the military -- United States Army, at Fort Campbell, Ky. -- they always have a car posted at the entrance gates during the holidays to remind drivers to be careful," said Willis, a former U.S. Army soldier.

The Georgia State Patrol reported 13 deaths on state highways during the Thanksgiving weekend, according to the Associated Press.

The State Patrol had predicted 16 deaths in crashes during the 102-hour holiday period, which began at 6 p.m., Wednesday and ended at midnight Sunday.

State officials say 3,089 crashes were reported, resulting in 730 injuries. Those numbers are below the 3,570 accidents and 1,398 injuries predicted.

The wrecked vehicles on display, as reminders, in Clayton County will remain on display through the end of the month, according to Willis.

The displays are at the following locations:

* Clayton County Police North Precinct -- 6635 Riverdale Road, Riverdale.

* Clayton County Police South Precinct -- 1669 Flicker Road, Jonesboro.

* S.R. 42 at the Lake Harbin Road intersection.

* Tara Boulevard at the Valley Hill Road intersection.