Police step up patrols for Christmas

DUNWOODY — The Christmas holiday is here, and authorities statewide are keeping a vigilant eye on the roads and cracking down on drunken drivers, speeders and motorists not wearing seat belts.

“Impaired drivers and people not using safety equipment will be our top priorities,” Col. Bill Hitchens, commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Safety, said in a news release.  “We want everyone to enjoy the holiday season while making traffic safety a priority as they travel.”

There 11 fatalities during the 200c Christmas and another 11 fatalities during the New Year’s holiday. There was one alcohol related traffic death during the 2009 Christmas holiday period; there were no such deaths during the New Year’s holiday.

“Last year during the two holiday periods, the majority of the fatal crashes occurred on state highways, county roads and city streets, so we will balance our enforcement efforts between the secondary roads and the interstates,” Hitchens said.

Following an “observational survey” this summer, Georgia authorities believe 90 percent of Georgia drivers and passengers use seat belts or child safety seats.

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