Law enforcement: Slow down, stay off phones while driving

Published 5:27 pm Tuesday, November 20, 2018

With Thanksgiving on the horizon, local law enforcement is encouraging drivers to slow down and remain alert to their surroundings whether spending the holiday at home or with relatives elsewhere.

“Thanksgiving is a holiday that brings family and friends together to share good food, conversation and laughter. In the midst of all this festive activity, it’s important to reach your destination safely,” Kostial said. “Just one moment of inattention, or an unsafe act or condition, can turn a festive activity into one of tragedy and loss. During the Thanksgiving holiday weekend last year, no less than 20 wrecks were investigated within the City of LaGrange.”

The Troup County Sheriff’s Office highlighted the importance of looking out for children who maybe playing outside during the school break.

“Kids are out of school, and they’ll be enjoying the school break [outside],” Sgt. Stewart Smith said. “Those that are traveling, buckle up. No texting and driving.”

Likewise, the LPD encouraged simple precautions while on the road.

“During the upcoming four-day holiday weekend, the LaGrange Police Department would like to remind you to watch your speed, maintain a safe following distance and to wear your seatbelt while also ensuring that children who are seven years of age and younger are properly restrained in child safety seats,” Kostial said. “Although frequently overlooked, parking lots can be particularly dangerous when you factor in shopping habits especially on Black Friday.”

Last week, U.S. Senators Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., and David Perdue, R-Ga., introduced a Senate resolution urging drivers to use caution on roadways during the holiday season.

The resolution designates the Sunday after Thanksgiving as “Drive Safer Sunday.” The Sunday after Thanksgiving is among the busiest highway traffic days of the year and provides an opportunity to remind drivers to use extra caution throughout the season, according to a joint press release from their offices. 

“With the holiday season approaching, road traffic increases and the Sunday after Thanksgiving is particularly heavy and dangerous,” Isakson said. “I urge Georgians to slow down, take extra care while traveling and remember to ‘Drive Safer Sunday.’ Georgia’s ‘hands free’ law went into effect earlier this year, and I hope that this simple step has helped Georgians think twice before taking risks behind the wheel. Our law enforcement officials and first responders are working hard to keep us safe, and we can each do our part to help each other. I wish all Georgians a safe and happy holiday season.”

The resolution encourages everyone — including learning institutions, trucking firms, clergy and law enforcement — to promote safe driving habits and work together to help make roads safer for travelers. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that simply wearing a seat belt saves as many as 15,000 lives a year. 

“As we head into one of the busiest travel times of the year, Sen. Isakson, and I want to remind Georgians to slow down, be alert, and use extra caution when driving to visit loved ones,” Perdue said. “I hope everyone has a safe and happy holiday season. Our thanks go out to law enforcement officers and first responders working around the clock to keep all Georgians safe.”