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GSP asking everyone to drive responsibly this holiday season

Published: Dec. 24, 2021 at 4:51 PM EST
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - The roadways aren’t as busy as they were yesterday with holiday travel traffic, but that doesn’t mean law enforcement agencies like Georgia State Patrol are relaxing their effort to keep people safe behind the wheel.

Since the beginning of last month, GSP responded to 13 fatal crashes around Effingham, Bryan and Chatham Counties.

Georgia State Patrol Trooper First Class Jon Champion is out on the roads this holiday weekend doing his part to keep that number from getting any higher.

“We don’t want to be the Grinch, we do want to reduce traffic crashes and fatals is the main goal. I don’t want to have to go notify anybody’s family this close to Christmas of a fatal,” Trooper First Class Champion said.

That’s a grim responsibility Trooper First Class Champion has had to carry out before on Christmas Eve. So today, I rode along as Champion worked to slow drivers down, even if that meant by pulling cars over.

“It’s hard knowing that I can’t be with my family during Christmas. But I’d rather be out here making sure everybody gets to where they’re going safely.”

And in addition to keeping an eye out for speeders, Trooper Champion and his fellow troopers are keeping an eye out for distracted, and even impaired drivers, no matter what time of day.

“95 in Bryan County at exit 90 there was a drunk driver driving down the roadway that we were able to stop, and he’s able to take him to jail.” That stop happened around 10 on Christmas Eve morning.

The trooper says in his experience holiday DUI’s happen at all hours of the day. Another important reminder, that even though there’s no active work going on in the construction zones at 16 and 95 this weekend, the work zone speeds still apply.

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