Area patrols increasing for holiday weekend - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Area patrols increasing for holiday weekend

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SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) -

The Effingham County Sheriff's Office and Savannah Chatham Metro Police Department says they have plans to increase traffic patrols during the Independence Day holiday weekend.

SCMPD says they are preparing for an influx of motorists traveling along highways during Friday's fireworks display.

SCMP officers will be located strategically in the downtown corridor where historically long back-ups, short tempers, and occasional low-speed traffic crashes occur following the fireworks display.

Police said starting Friday afternoon, additional officers will also be posted in the downtown area to monitor traffic flow and ensure safety.

Public parking lots on River Street will be closed beginning Friday around 3 a.m. and will remain closed until early Sunday. River Street will close to vehicle traffic Friday at 4 p.m. and will reopen early Saturday morning.

Juvenile Curfews will go into effect at midnight for all persons under age 17 and will be strictly enforced for those in the downtown area not under parental supervision. SCMPD officers will be on scene to ensure the safety of Savannah's youth.

The ECSO says this is all in an effort to reduce accidents, injuries and deaths caused by impaired drivers. Patrol deputies also will be on alert for speeding and seat belt and child restraint violations.

The increased patrols will begin on Wednesday July 2 through Saturday July 5 as part of a state-wide enforcement effort. Additional deputies will be on the road to include the Traffic Enforcement Unit.

"The Effingham County Sheriff's Office is serious about traffic enforcement, and putting more patrol deputies on the road will help make the holiday weekend safer and help families avoid needless tragedies," says Sheriff Jimmy McDuffie.

The sheriff's office says Motorists also need to be sure and slow down or move over when they see an emergency vehicle stopped on a highway. They also want to remind the public that celebratory gunfire can lead to injury or death. In the past, people have used celebratory gunfire to celebrate holidays resulting in people getting struck by falling bullets in Effingham County.

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