Memorial Day weekend safety: Law enforcement work to keep Georgians safe on water, by road

The unofficial start to summer is nearly here with Memorial Day weekend about to get underway. 

On Thursday, several different law enforcement agencies joined together to share some important safety messages to keep people safe. 

Memorial Day weekend water safety 

At Lake Lanier, Georgia game wardens will be out in force monitoring the lake with safety as their top priority. 

"It's a lot of fun being out here, but you have to respect the water and what it can do to you," said Game Warden Cody Tanner. 

Tanner was out on the water on Thursday doing safety checks. One of the people he stopped was fisherman John Outler. He is a regular at the lake and loves being here, but not on holiday weekends. 

"It's too dangerous, there's so many people out here that don't know what they're doing," he said. 

In 2023, 53 people drowned in Georgia waterways and 20 were killed in boating accidents. 

The Georgia Department of Natural Resources says they also arrested more than 250 people for boating under the influence. Game wardens like Tanner will be on patrol with the goal of saving lives and reminding people of the importance of life jackets. 

"I try to tell parents every day that they need to keep their kids in lifejackets no matter how much they're throwing a fit," he said. 

Memorial Day weekend roadway safety 

From the water to the roadway, Georgia State Patrol and other agencies have stepped up enforcement for Memorial Day weekend with more than one-million Georgians set to hit the road for the holiday. 

Last year, 16 people were killed in car crashes in Georgia during the long holiday weekend with more than half not wearing a seat belt. 

The Georgia State Patrol says troopers will not just be on the lookout for violators of the seat belt law, but any dangerous driving that puts people at risk. 

"We'll focus on speeding, aggressive driving, improper lane change, following too close and one of the things we'll be looking at importantly is the DUIs," said Colonel William W. Hitchens, Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Safety.