Georgia State Patrol troopers urge safety on the roads over July 4th weekend

Published: Jul. 1, 2022 at 6:07 PM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) - As drivers hit the road for the holiday weekend, they’re not alone.

Georgia State Patrol troopers are out in force, making sure drivers keep themselves and others safe.

“We’ll be looking for speeders, people texting and driving, driving impaired, so please slow down, put down the phone,” said GSP Sgt. Jeremy Hilley.

“Be careful, pay attention to others on the roadway. It’s not just you out there, there’s other people, families traveling,” he said.

Hilley said 16 people were killed on Georgia roadways over the long July 4th weekend last year.

He urges people to make a plan ahead of time if their celebrating includes drinking alcohol.

“In some cases people like to put sleeping bags and pillows in their car and crash on their friend’s couch because it’s better to crash there than on the interstate,” he said.

Hilley has been the one to tell people their loved ones were killed in a drunk driving accident and hopes he doesn’t have to do it again.

“The very first fatal accident I ever worked was on Cinco de Mayo and it was a single vehicle and it was a son and he had just dropped his mom off and she stated, ‘I knew I shouldn’t have let him drive.’ That was very hard,” he said. “It’s rough. It’s one that you don’t forget. You remember every single detail of the accident and the interaction with the family member. I would say it gets easier over time to talk to people and tell them that they’ve lost a loved one in an accident but it does not get easier.”

In addition to rideshare services that are available, AAA offers its Tow To Go Program in metro Atlanta on holiday weekends. Drivers can call 855-2-TOW-2-GO and a tow truck will take them and their car within ten miles to get home or somewhere safe. It’s free and available to AAA members and non-members.