While Georgians look forward to Fourth of July festivities, Governor Deal and Georgia's Office of Highway Safety emphasize zero tolerance for drunk and impaired driving through the extended holiday period.
Georgia's Operation Zero Tolerance campaign coincides with the national Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign. Governor Deal says law enforcement will be out in force on the roadways to reduce crashes, injuries and fatalities.
Over the 2013 Independence Day holiday travel period, there were more than 5,000 crashes resulting in 20 fatalities and nearly 1,800 injuries statewide. In the past five years nationwide, more than 40 percent of traffic fatalities over this holiday weekend involved an intoxicated driver.
Georgia's Department of Transportation is suspending all construction-related lane closures on interstates and major state highways through the holiday travel period from 5 p.m. Thursday, July 2 until 5 a.m. Monday, July 6.
"We expect heavy holiday traffic across the state as people head to celebratory parades, barbecues and fireworks," DOT Director of Construction Jeff Baker says in a prepared statement. "By restricting lane closures, we hope this will enable motorists to travel with fewer delays and less stress."
Some long-term lane closures may remain in place.
For updated information on travel conditions, motorists can call 511 for free traffic and travel information statewide.