Law enforcement warns of road and boat safety ahead of Memorial Day weekend

Law enforcement warns of road and boat safety ahead of Memorial Day weekend
Updated: May. 24, 2018 at 11:47 PM EDT
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(WTVM) - Holiday travel for Memorial Day weekend is underway and officials say now starts the deadliest time for roads and waterways across the country.

Over 10 different law enforcement agencies from both Alabama and Georgia gathered at Lake Oliver Marina today to make sure their message is heard. They want you to enjoy your summer, but they want to make sure you make it home safely at the end of the day.

"This holiday and this summer if you're looking for that warning, this is it. This is your warning," said Captain Mark Perry with Georgia State Patrol.

Twenty-three people died on Georgia roadways last year during the Memorial Day holiday and over 1,300 were injured during crashes, according to officials.

"These people want you to go home safe every night," said Mark Mckinnon with Public Affairs DNR.

Twelve of the 23 people who died in those crashes weren't wearing a seatbelt. But the Department of Natural Resources said wearing a life jacket is just as important if you're on the water.

"So many boating and car accidents occur because those rules are being violated," said Col. Eddie Henderson, the director of Georgia DNR Law Enforcement Divison.

Sixty-three people drowned and 15 were killed during boating incidents last year in Georgia. With upcoming rainy weather expected across the Chattahoochee Valley this weekend, the DNR said you need to be extra cautious.

The DNR said to watch out for heavy debris or tree limbs while out on the water.

Game wardens also made 189 boating under the influences arrests in 2017, but one of the more frequent laws broken is the 100 feet law.

While boating you need to be at idle speed when at least 100 feet away from the developed shoreline.

Too often officials say people get behind the wheel or operate a boat while under the influence. "Stay sober or designate a driver or operator for your vessel," said Henderson.

Officials are also encouraging all drivers to remember the move over law-- if you see law enforcement on the road tending to a situation, make sure to move one lane over and away from that side of the road with those emergency vehicles. 

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