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Holiday Safety, Focus of Forsyth Sheriff's Office and Others

The 78-hour holiday period begins Friday at 6 p.m. and ends at midnight Memorial Day.

Traffic is expected to be heavy throughout Forsyth County and across the state during the upcoming Memorial Day holiday travel period.

That's why local and state authorities are asking motorists to make sure everyone is buckled up as they travel.

The 78-hour holiday period begins Friday at 6 p.m. and ends at midnight Memorial Day, according to Colonel Mark McDonough, Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Safety.

Motorists are urged to take extra precautions to be safe this holiday weekend. Forsyth County Sheriff Ted Paxton said because the weekend weather will be nice, that usually leads to more people being on the roadways.

“We will be working with other law enforcement agencies in making sure people are obeying the speed limits, not drinking and driving, and buckling up, said Sheriff Paxton.

"Deputies with the HEAT Unit, DUI Unit, Traffic Specialist Unit and Motor Unit will be working the roadways during the day and evening hours, enforcing the traffic laws. Expect to see some safety checks on the roadways over the weekend also," he said.

Sheriff Paxton, as well as Col. McDonough, noted that there are many graduations, festivals, holiday travelers and family gatherings that will increase the volume of traffic on the highways.

Locally, will be holding its graduation ceremonies on Saturday, May 26 at the . and Schools on Tuesday, May 29, and and Schools on Wednesday, May 30 at the Gwinnett Arena.

“The extra traffic can also increase the chances of you being involved in a traffic crash,” said Col. McDonough. The commissioner noted that with state troopers joining law enforcement officers across the country in a stepped up seat belt enforcement campaign.

Last year during the Memorial Day holiday travel period, the investigated 312 traffic crashes that resulted in 236 injuries and 13 traffic deaths.

In the fatal crashes, three victims were motorcycle operators and one person killed was operating an all-terrain vehicle. Col. McDonough noted alcohol was a contributing factor in six of the 13 fatalities, and eight of the nine people killed in either a passenger car or pickup truck were not wearing seat belts.

In addition to being safe on the roadway, Sheriff Paxton along with the Department of Natural Resources (DNR), encourages people enjoying the Forsyth County parks on to be responsible and safe.

“Alcohol, mixed with driving or boating activities, creates dangerous conditions that can lead not only to an arrest, but also to tragedy,” said DNR Assistant Chief of law enforcement, Lt. Col. Jeff Weaver.

Sheriff Paxton added that two Forsyth County marine patrol boats, in addition to the DNR, would be patrolling Lake Lanier over the Memorial Day holiday weekend.

“We will also be utilizing our mounted patrol in the Corps of Engineers parks on the lake. and rotating among the Corps of Engineers parks.”

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