During the holiday season, people across the country are taking to the road to travel. Visiting families and friends is part of what makes Christmas time special. But law enforcement throughout Bryan County also knows that can mean a little more work.
"We have more staff on during the holidays," Pembroke Police Chief Bill Collins said. "We participate in the Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety Operation Zero Tolerance and just last week we did an impact class with Driver’s Ed to stress driver safety. We want to make sure everyone’s safe and put all our resources out there to make sure every resident in Bryan County is as safe as they possibly can be while they’re out on the road this holiday season."
With more law enforcement staff working during the holiday, many of them give up Christmas and New Year’s celebrations with their families and friends in order to maintain safe roadways throughout Bryan County.
The Governor’s Office of Highway Safety (GOHS) said over 160 people were killed in traffic-related accidents in the state of Georgia from Dec. 1 to Jan. 1 last year. To ensure the safety of everyone on the roads this holiday, the GOHS recommends always designating a driver when heading to a situation that might involve alcohol and always wearing safety belts.
Collins also gave a friendly reminder:
"Be very careful, there’s a lot of extra people out on the roads," he said. "Give yourself a little extra time and a little extra room."
Richmond Hill Police Chief Billy Reynolds said the holidays don’t really mean anything different, because his force never stops working to make sure Bryan County is a safe place to be.
"We never stop; we work everyday to make sure the roadways in Bryan County are safe. We don’t do anything different any day of the year. We have traffic officers working year-round," he said, adding that they do have several officers participating in OZT. "We just wish everyone a happy and safe holiday. Observe speed limits and use your seatbelts."
Bryan County Sheriff Clyde Smith could not be reached.