Labor Day is one of the heaviest traveled holiday periods of the year. With a plethora of big events around the metro area, drivers should make plans for increased traffic and should also note law enforcement will be out in force with traffic checkpoints during this time.
The 78 hour Labor Day holiday travel period begins at 6 p.m. on Friday, August 29 and ends at midnight on Labor Day.
Weekend highlights include the Decatur Book Festival, Dragon Con and the Atlanta Black Pride Weekend from Thursday through Monday, Aerosmith at Philips Arena on Friday night, Chick-fil-A FanZones at the Georgia Dome on Thursday and Saturday afternoons, three NCAA Division I football games, live ESPN Radio broadcasts from Centennial Olympic Park on Friday and Saturday afternoons and Braves games at Turner Field Friday through Monday.
MARTA promoters point out there are nine stops located within the 220-block Downtown area to ensure that visitors avoid any vehicular traffic congestion.
Troopers will be patrolling the roads and cracking down on drunk or high drivers.
"Troopers will be out actively looking for impaired and unsafe drivers this holiday weekend," said Colonel Mark W. McDonough, Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Safety.
"Our goal is to make holiday travel as safe as possible," Colonel McDonough said. "Troopers will be on concentrated and high visibility patrols watching for those who are driving impaired or distracted, not wearing seat belts, and other traffic violations that could potentially cause a traffic crash," he added.
Last year during the Labor Day travel period, the Georgia State Patrol investigated 650 traffic crashes that resulted in 338 injuries and 10 traffic fatalities. In addition to traffic crash investigations, troopers arrested 283 people for driving under the influence while issuing 8,604 citations and 15,208 warnings.
Georgia State Troopers and Motor Carrier Compliance Officers will also be teaming up with local law enforcement officials for Operation Zero Tolerance, Georgia's high visibility enforcement campaign that targets impaired drivers. "They will be working roadchecks across the state to remove impaired drivers off our roads," McDonough said. "Troopers and officers will not hesitate to arrest an impaired driver and tow the vehicle. Choose a designated driver before the celebration begins," he added.
The Labor Day is also an Operation C.A.R.E. holiday period where state law enforcement officers across the country join together for a concerted effort to encourage safe travel. The goal of Operation C.A.R.E., or Combined Accident Reduction Effort, is to reduce the number of crashes, injuries and fatalities on the nation's roads by balancing high visibility enforcement with educational outreach.