Editorial Roundup: Georgia

Brunswick News. August 31, 2022.

Editorial: State legislature must take strong stance on drunk driving

Someone once asked what it would take to make roads and highways safer. Answers provided unveiled little seasoned drivers did not already know.

First was to convince motorists that following the laws and recommendations for safe driving is in the best interest of everyone. That includes the interest of the driver and everyone else in the vehicle.

The second was law enforcement for those who think rules apply to other people. Of course, the problem with this one is having sufficient police and highway patrol personnel to catch those who act as though stop signs and speed limits are merely suggestions. In many cases, cities, counties and states have barely enough officers to keep the peace let alone monitor for traffic infractions.

The third was to find a way to convince those who get behind the wheel of a vehicle when under the influence of alcohol or drugs that they are playing Russian roulette with the lives of everyone they meet on the road, as well as with their own.

Many are one-timers. Either they miraculously make it home safe and pledge to themselves never again or are fortunate enough to be picked up by police before they can do harm to themselves or others.

Then there are those who do it again and again. It does not matter that the state has suspended their driver’s license and it is unlawful for them to drive. In their narrow way of thinking, an individual only needs one if pulled over by police. It also is unlawful to drink and drive, but that never seems to faze them.

Consequently, these men and women get back out on the highways under the same mentally altered state that cost them their license. Some will run out on their luck and cause an accident that takes a life, maybe even their own.

We’ve said this before and we will say it again: it is time for the state legislature to address this issue. The only way to remove those who repeatedly endanger the lives of others is to keep them off the road, and the only way to guarantee that is to keep them in jail, or at least for longer stretches of time.

Extended incarceration is one solution for those who cannot be rehabilitated. Alcoholism is a disease. Society would not stand idly by while an individual with some other potentially deadly disease intentionally spread it to others. Neither should it stand idly by and wait for a repeat DUI offender to claim the life of an innocent victim.

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Dalton Daily Citizen. August 31, 2022.

Editorial: Stay safe if traveling over the Labor Day weekend

Summer comes to an unofficial end with the upcoming Labor Day weekend.

Although summer feels like it came to an end early this month as schools in Dalton and Whitfield County returned to classes, Murray County Schools get a later start as they kick off the school year on Tuesday as the system is on a 160-day calendar.

Many of us may be taking one final trip before we hunker down for the fall and winter. The roads and highways are routinely packed on Labor Day weekend, and this time the same is expected. Not only are people traveling to the lake, the beach or the mountains for a three-day weekend, this is the first full week of college football.

The DOT put together an informative release and graphic on the best and worst times to travel. That can be read on our website at www.dailycitizen.news and also in today’s newspaper. Most road construction and related lane closures will be put on hold during the holiday weekend.

“Georgia DOT’s five-day travel forecast for the holiday weekend indicates the heaviest traffic volumes may materialize on Friday with moderate traffic predicted on Saturday,” according to the DOT. “Light traffic is expected on both Sunday and Monday. Forecasts are based on historical traffic volumes on similar dates around the Labor Day weekend.”

The DOT provided the following tips to help you stay safe on the roads during the holiday weekend:

• Drive alert. Don’t drive distracted or impaired. Stay focused on the road for any sudden incidents.

• Don’t drive with excessive speed, and maintain adequate distance with the vehicle in front of you.

• Never get out of the car on an interstate, unless your life is in imminent danger. If possible, pull off the road, turn on your hazard lights and stay seat-belted in the vehicle with the doors locked until help arrives.

• Remember to move over or slow down if an emergency vehicle is working an incident in the shoulder.

• Make sure your vehicle inspection is up to date. Check the conditions of your tires before you begin your trip. Make sure they are properly inflated, and replace any tires that are worn, uneven or damaged.

• Monitor gauges while driving. If a warning light appears, be sure to stop or safely pull over before trouble arises.

• Prepare a safety kit.

• Remember HERO and CHAMP.

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