Holiday speeding brings the gift of tickets

Dougherty County Police Officer Reggie French issues a citation for speeding

/ Colby Gallagher

With every holiday comes an increase in traffic and accidents. Monday afternoon I had the chance to ride along with a Dougherty County Police Officer to find out the dangers involved with holiday travel.

The sirens blared as Officer Reggie French pursued a car going 19 miles over the speed limit - which he says is a common occurrence during a holiday weekend.

"Anytime you have individuals traveling from point A to point B during the holiday period, they're trying to spend as much time as possible as they can at their relatives or their friend's house before they have to return home to begin their work week," said Officer French.

French pulled over violators for some routine traffic stops for speeding, but some were more serious.

"She is going to be receiving a citation for a child restraint violation. She has a two-year-old female child in the backseat. The child is in a car seat but improperly restrained by the seatbelt system," said French, as he wrote out two citations for the driver.

AAA projects 34.8 million Americans will travel this year for Memorial Day. Officials say an increase in travel always means an increase in accidents, which is why law enforcement kicked off the click it or ticket campaign before the summer holiday.

"There's always an increased amount of traffic and traffic enforcement efforts during this period right now."

Officer French says tailgating, speeding, and inclement weather can all add to the already increased risk traffic brings but does not accept excuses of running late.

"Plan enough time for safe operation of your vehicle so you can actually do the speed limit and make it from point A to point B."

So next time you're thinking of putting the pedal to the metal so you don't miss your aunt's famous chocolate cake, slow down so you can ensure you'll have more holidays to celebrate in the future.