State troopers send early caution for Halloween

Thu, 10/30/2008 - 2:21pm
By: The Citizen

The Georgia State Patrol is cautioning drivers to be prepared as they travel this coming Friday. Traffic is expected to be heavier than normal this Halloween with additional motorists traveling the state’s roads for the weekend.

The Georgia State Patrol is urging motorists to keep safety the number one priority as they travel. Traffic during the evening rush hour on Halloween is traditionally one of the heaviest each year in urban areas as motorists take to the roads for parties or to get children ready to go trick-or-treating.

Colonel Bill Hitchens, Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Safety, said motorists should pay extra attention to safety while they drive Halloween night. The Commissioner said drivers should be especially mindful of pedestrians on streets and roads while traveling. “Drivers should slow down, watch for children and don’t drink and drive,” he said. “Children are excited about Halloween and may not be paying as much attention to their surroundings as they should.” He noted that with Halloween falling on a Friday this year, there will be more cars on the road traveling to high school football games and also to Jacksonville for this weekend’s Georgia – Florida football game.

Colonel Hitchens also cautions drivers about alcohol consumption and driving on Halloween. “Adult parties have become popular on Halloween and that leads to an increase in the number of impaired drivers on Georgia’s roads,” he said. “Use a designated driver.” The Commissioner noted that nationally Halloween is a particularly deadly night due to impaired drivers. “In 2006, alcohol impaired drivers were involved in 44 percent of all highway fatalities across the nation between 6 p.m. on Halloween and 5:59 a.m. November 1,” he said. Motorists who see suspected impaired drivers may call Star G-S-P (*477) from a cell phone to be connected to the nearest Georgia State Patrol post.

The Georgia State Patrol reminds parents to accompany children at all times and supervise trick-or-treat activities. “Make sure children are visible to motorists by adding reflective tape to Halloween costumes and make sure the costumes do not impede a child’s ability to walk, see or hear,” he added. “With a later sunset again this year and children on the streets, drivers should be mindful of the dangers posed by the setting sun.” He urged everyone to make an extra effort to keep children safe as they enjoy the festivities.

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