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Labor Day traffic predicted to be heavy
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The 78-hour Labor Day holiday travel period begins this Friday evening at 6 p.m., and traffic on Georgia roads is expected to be heavy. Colonel Bill Hitchens, commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Safety, said a number of local events across the state will contribute to make for a busy holiday period.

The holiday period runs until midnight Labor Day, Sept. 7, and traffic estimates from the Georgia State Patrol and the Crash Reporting Unit at the Georgia Department of Transportation are for 1,725 traffic crashes, 975 injuries and 18 traffic deaths. Last year, during the 78-hour holiday period, there were 1,660 traffic crashes reported across the state that resulted in 798 injuries and 19 fatalities.

Colonel Hitchens said troopers from the Georgia State Patrol and officers with the Motor Carrier Compliance and Capitol Police divisions of the Georgia Department of Public Safety will be concentrating on seat belt and child restraint violations as well as impaired drivers.

"During the 2008 Labor Day holiday travel period, there were 19 traffic fatalities, and 76 percent of the people killed in car crashes had no safety equipment in use," Colonel Hitchens said. "Additionally, four of the traffic deaths were alcohol-related." The 19 traffic deaths included two motorcyclists.