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Law enforcement patrols will be heavy for long Labor Day weekend

ALBANY — With the traditional high traffic of Labor Day getting under way this evening, the Albany Police Department will have zero tolerance for drunk driving, speeding and other traffic infractions, said Phyllis Banks, spokeswoman for the APD.

Banks said officers will be monitoring areas of especially high traffic such as those near the Albany Mall and in traditionally busy intersections. According to Banks, while patrolling, officers will also be checking for seat belt and car seat compliance.

The Albany Police Department has issued a basic list of tips for safety during the mini-vacation holiday period. The tips include:

— Make sure all passengers are buckled up and children are in safety seats appropriate for their size;

— Allow plenty of travel time to avoid frustration and diminish the impulse to speed;

— Drive defensively and exercise caution;

— Avoid being distracted while driving. Monitor cell phone usage while driving and don’t text and drive;

— If you plan to drink, do not drive. Designate a non-drinking driver or plan for alternative transportation, such as a taxi;

— Buckle up.

Georgia state troopers are urging motorists to use extra caution as they drive during the Labor Day weekend. Colonel Bill Hitchens, commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Safety and Georgia State PatrolcCommander, said a number of special events across the state will increase motor vehicle travel during the 78-hour holiday period.

“Labor Day is traditionally the end of the summer travel season, so traffic is usually heavy during the holiday period,” Hitchens said. “This year, the Labor Day weekend is also the season openers for high school and college football teams across the state and that will add traffic to our roads.”

The Labor Day holiday period begins at 6 p.m. today and continues until midnight Labor Day. The GSP and the Georgia Department of Transportation’s Accident Reporting Unit are jointly predicting 2,100 traffic crashes, 990 injuries and 21 traffic deaths during the long weekend.

Last year, there were 1,930 crashes, 931 injuries and 17 deaths reported during the 78-hour period.