Tactics law enforcement have for holiday travel safety

Tactics law enforcement have for holiday travel safety

SPRINGFIELD, GA (WTOC) - The roadways are already crowded, and we're approaching the last weekend to shop before Christmas and traveling.

Law enforcement is gearing up for aggressive action out there with you on the roads, and Wednesday they revealed some of their tactics.

One of them being, if you get caught drinking and driving, you can plan on spending the entire weekend in jail since Christmas falls on a Friday.

From Georgia Southern Police to Tybee PD to Georgia State Patrol, and every law enforcement agency in between, they are all working to keep the number of deaths on our roadways down as we approach the weekend before and during Christmas.

Harrelson Powell, with the Georgia Governor's Office of Highway Safety, said, "We're here today to show unity between law enforcement agencies. Georgia's experienced 1,300 deaths on our roadways this year."

From drinking and driving to distracted driving, that number of lives lost is the highest it's been since 2007!

Capt. Chris Wright with Georgia State Patrol said, "Distracted driving is the number one cause of our fatality crashes right now.  Single vehicle crashes where the driver leaves the roadway, strikes a tree, overturns."

In the past, it has been difficult to prove illegal cell phone use, i.e. texting while driving, but the Effingham County Sheriff's Office may have outsmarted you and your smart phone.

"Passenger in the car, our car takes pictures of those folks texting while we're going down the road, and then we got a chase car down the road that stops them and writes them a ticket, so when we go to court, we have a picture of them with a telephone in their hand," admitted Effingham County Sheriff Jimmy McDuffie.

But some who wear the badge say a ticket may not be enough to get the message through to some drivers, and they fear it's going to take a tragedy to learn.

"It's really going to come down to personal responsibility, and if I don't put this phone down, me or one of my loved ones may not be sitting at the kitchen table next Christmas," said Capt. Wright. "It doesn't matter if you're stopped at the stop sign or a traffic light, you should not pick up your cell phone and use it when you're driving, because you don't know when the traffic is going to start moving forward, and if you don't move forward you've got traffic backing up behind you."

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