Georgia State Patrol urges everyone to celebrate responsibly on Fourth of July holiday


ATLANTA, Ga. — The Georgia State Patrol and Motor Carrier Compliance Division urge everyone to celebrate the Independence Day holiday responsibly. This year, the holiday travel period is 102 hours long and begins Wednesday, July 3, at 6 p.m., and ends Sunday, July 7, at 11:59 p.m.

Last year’s holiday period was 102 hours long. Troopers and Motor Carrier Officers issued 15,459 citations, 15,650 warnings, and made 502 DUI arrests. Troopers also investigated 713 traffic crashes resulting in 385 injuries and nine fatalities, with local law enforcement agencies investigating nine fatalities.

This year also marks the sixth anniversary of the Georgia Hands-Free Law, which became effective July 1, 2018. Since the law’s inception, troopers and officers have issued more than 84,000 Hands-Free citations.

“State Troopers and Officers will be out in full force patrolling the interstates, state routes, and local streets around Georgia during what AAA projects to be the busiest Independence Day holiday period on record,” said Colonel William W. Hitchens III, Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Safety.  “The Independence Day holiday is a time for celebration, and the Department of Public Safety wants to remind the motoring public to obey all traffic laws. As you travel through and around Georgia, observe the posted speed limit, do not drive distracted, always wear your seatbelt, ensure that all children in the vehicle are properly restrained, and never drink and drive.  When traveling, remember to leave early enough to ensure you have plenty of time to reach your destination, and always be a patient and courteous driver.  Holiday celebrations should be safe and fun, but one wrong decision can have life-altering consequences.  Please be responsible; your safety and the safety of others depend on it,” said Colonel Hitchens.

AAA projects 70.9 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more from home this Independence Day weekend. This year’s projection surpasses the previous Fourth of July weekend record set in 2019 of 49 million travelers and is an additional 2.8 million travelers compared to last year.

During this holiday period, State troopers and officers will be on high-visibility patrols with the goal of keeping the number of traffic crashes, injuries, and fatalities to a minimum. The Georgia State Patrol is participating in the Operation Zero Tolerance campaign, a nationwide mobilization against impaired driving, as well as the 100 Days of Summer H.E.A.T. (Highway Enforcement of Aggressive Traffic) campaign. Troopers will be working alongside sheriff’s deputies and police officers to apprehend impaired drivers and crack down on aggressive speeders and distracted drivers.

Georgia’s holiday traffic count will be updated throughout the holiday period on the Department of Public Safety’s Twitter account, and Facebook page