2011-11-23 / Community

Just in time for a turkey or two

by Terry Toole

It's costly to ride around the square, even on Hometown Holidays if you don’t have your seatbelt clicked. It's costly to ride around the square, even on Hometown Holidays if you don’t have your seatbelt clicked. Right after the thunder, lightning and some rain on Wednesday, came Operation Thunder around the city square in Colquitt, as Georgia State Patrol troopers were stopping motorists around the square like a road stop was set up.

It was busy as Superior Court was going on in the courthouse, with "let's make a deal" going on inside, according to some law enforcement officers. It was even more dangerous to try to drive around the city square with GSP officers stopping drivers at every side of town.

It was hard to get around the square for GSP trooper's vehicle sticking out in the street blocking the unfortunate motorists they had stopped in the Operation Click It or Ticket.

Georgia State Troopers are joining law enforcement officers across the country for Operation Click It or Ticket to promote seat belt and child passenger safety for the holidays. The twoweek enforcement wave began this morning and ends Sunday, November 27. Law enforcement officers across the United States will be concentrating on seat belt and child restraint violations during patrols.

Operation Click It or Ticket is a nationwide mobilization of law enforcement to enforce safety belt and child restraint laws to boost safety on the nation's roads. In Georgia, Operation Click It or Ticket is coordinated by the Governor's Office of Highway Safety.

Colonel Mark Mc- Donough, Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Safety, said the nationwide crackdown on occupant protection violations is being conducted to save lives. "An unrestrained driver and unrestrained passengers are more likely to be seriously injured or killed when a traffic crash occurs," he said. "Making sure adults and children are properly restrained will reduce the number of traffic deaths on our roads."

Georgia law requires that adults 18 years of age and older must wear safety belts while driving or while riding in the front seat of passenger vehicles and pickup trucks, including sport utility vehicles. Children ages 8 through 17 must be restrained by a safety belt at all times, and children under age eight must be restrained in a child safety seat or booster seat in the rear seat of vehicles. For more information on Georgia's occupant protection laws, visit the Governor's Office of Highway Safety website at http://www.gahighwaysafety.org/ChildPassengerc3. pdf

In addition to occupant protection violations, Operation

Click It or Ticket patrols have historically resulted in the arrests of drivers operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, or operating a vehicle with insurance. Other violations typically found are for reckless driving, speeding, people driving on a suspended license, and drivers operating vehicles with expired registrations.

"Make sure everyone is buckled up and take the time to properly restrain children in your vehicle before the trip begins," Colonel McDonough said. "It is important for adults to take the time to read child safety seat instruction manuals to make sure the proper child seat is installed in their vehicle correctly."

With the holidays quickly approaching, the Georgia State Patrol urges drivers to use extra caution as they drive and remember to always buckle up, avoid distractions inside the vehicle, be aware of the posted speed limit, and don't drive if you have consumed alcoholic beverages.

It would be better if the state would furnish the troopers enough gas to patrol on the highways instead of around the square.

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