Valdosta Daily Times

What We Think

July 2, 2014

July 4: Freedom and safety

VALDOSTA — With the Fourth of July on Friday, this will be a long weekend for many people. Three days of free time, and a whole lot of time for fun, family, and friends for a long Fourth.

The Georgia State Patrol also considers the Independence Day weekend a long one — running from 6 p.m. Thursday, July 3, to midnight Sunday, July 6. As the GSP declaring a timeline suggests, it is also a period when people could face many hazards.

During this period, GSP troopers will team with law-enforcement agencies across the state for concentrated patrols and roadchecks looking for impaired drivers on state roads during the holiday period.

“Troopers will be watching for impaired drivers, seat belt and child restraint violations, and speeders,” said Col. Mark W. McDonough, Georgia Department of Public Safety commissioner.

Last year, the holiday period was 102 hours long. The GSP investigated 1,150 traffic crashes that resulted in 564 injuries, and five fatalities.

Additionally, troopers issued 9,849 citations, 18,477 warnings, and made 359 DUI arrests.

“Obey the posted speed limit, check that everyone is wearing a seat belt, and avoid distractions inside your vehicle,” McDonough said. “Careful planning is the key to a safe holiday weekend. Keep safety a priority.”

Fireworks are another concern of the Fourth. Georgians have long celebrated Independence Day with firecrackers, bottle rockets and other fireworks, even when most of these items were illegal in the state.

With sparklers and non-explosive fireworks legal in Georgia, users should remember to use caution while handling these items.

Readers can find more information on fireworks safety in this edition.

With freedom comes responsibility.

Whether that responsibility is the duties of citizens of a free nation or as folks with a little extra free time for a holiday, we should do all within our power to have a happy and safe Fourth.

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What We Think
  • Thumbs up

    THUMBS UP: To South Georgia Medical Center for hiring three cardiovascular surgeons. Randall B. Brown, MD, Joe H. Johnson MD, and Maurice M. Solis, MD, will perform comprehensive cardiac, thoracic, peripheral vascular and endovascular surgery services at the Dasher Memorial Heart Center. The three surgeons will operate a full-time medical practice and professional office named the SGMC CardioVascular Institute. It’s a much-needed addition to region’s medical services and South Georgians should benefit from their presence.

    August 1, 2014

  • Regional shopping makes sense

    This weekend is the tax-free holiday in Georgia.

    July 31, 2014

  • Focus now on what lies within

    Forty-three years ago the federal mandate to desegregate Valdosta City Schools was necessary.

    July 30, 2014

  • The Times belongs to you

    The Valdosta Daily Times belongs to you. As we move forward with new leadership in our newsroom, we want you to know about our continued commitment to the communities we serve.

    July 28, 2014

  • The art of plenty to do

    In Sunday’s paper, readers found an extensive list of shows, exhibits, concerts and more for the upcoming arts seasons in Valdosta-Lowndes County.

    July 27, 2014

  • The power of One

    Christine Batson wondered the same thing that many people wonder.

    July 26, 2014

  • Thumbs Up

    THUMBS UP: To Air Force Lt. Col. David Rayman. The 75th Fighter Squadron commander recently logged 3,000 flight hours in the A-10C Thunderbolt II. A rare feat. In presenting a Moody Air Force Base story on his accomplishment in The Times, it’s good to see the face and know the name of one of the many pilots who cross our South Georgia skies. Congratulations on 3,000 and thank you for your service.

    July 26, 2014

  • Closing another summer chapter

    The South Georgia Regional Library brings its 2014 summer reading program to a close this weekend with an event that celebrates readers and writers.

    July 24, 2014

  • Countdown for voter apathy

    If you don’t think your vote counts, talk to Ellis Black and John Page today.

    July 24, 2014

  • Vote to remove signs

    Congratulations to the winners in the primary runoff election Tuesday.

    July 23, 2014

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