GA and SC state troopers campaign for safe holiday travels - WFXG FOX54 Augusta - Your News One Hour Earlier

GA and SC state troopers campaign for safe holiday travels

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Spending an hour on the side of Interstate 20 isn't exactly how the Addisons planned on starting the holiday season.

"We were just driving and the car started swerving and so I just pulled over and saw I had a flat tire," said Jarvis Addison. He's on a road trip with his daughter Brianna.

Traveling from Columbia to Atlanta then onto Tampa, the Addisons are one of hundreds of families getting on the road for the Thanksgiving weekend, one of the highway's busiest traveling weekends, and one of the most dangerous.

"Georgia is on the verge of having an increase in traffic fatalities for the first time in six years," said Col. Mark McDonough, commissioner of Georgia's Department of Public Safety.

More than one thousand deaths have been recorded in Georgia this year. And as the year starts to wind down, Georgia State Troopers are launching Operation Safe Holidays; reminding drivers not to speed, drink and drive and to always wear your seatbelt.

"If you're not wearing a seat belt and you're ejected, your chances of survival are slim to none," said State Trooper Harris Blackwood, director of the Governor's Office of Highway Safety. "The seat belt will keep you in what's going to protect you and that's the automobile."

Not wearing a seatbelt is a common problem troopers see across the border in the Palmetto state too.

"Seven-hundred and twenty seven fatalities so far this year in South Carolina," said South Carolina State Trooper Judd Jones. "A big portion of those people killed were not wearing a seatbelt."

Like Georgia, South Carolina Highway Patrol says drinking and driving and speeding are also issues they deal with. And as travelers get on the road, state troopers are hoping to send a strong message to help travelers make it to their destination and back home safely.

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