Bainbridge sees rise in Labor Day vehicle accidents, fewer DUI cases

Published 11:44 pm Friday, September 5, 2014

The 2014 Labor Day weekend in Bainbridge saw a fewer number of driving under the influence arrests but more vehicle accidents than last year.

Between Aug. 29 and Sept. 1 Bainbridge Public Safety made no DUI arrests, but assisted with seven accidents, according to BPS Director Chief Eric Miller.

“Overall, it was a relatively quiet weekend compared to previous ones as far as total call volume and the number and types of calls we were on,” Miller said.

In 2013, BPS made four DUI arrests over the Labor Day weekend and only saw two accidents. In 2012, BPS made one DUI arrest and saw three accidents.

Miller said that Labor Day last year was rainy, which may have contributed to the lower accident number because people were not out driving.

Sunday night and Monday morning, BPS conducted a roadblock at the intersection of Faceville Highway and Alice Street.

“Roadblocks have to be planned out,” Miller said. “They have to be preapproved, and they have to be approved for very specific reasons. For instance, the road block this weekend was to enhance safety for the increased number of people traveling over the holiday, so we had the one roadblock to do that.”

Georgia State Patrol released Labor Day traffic incident numbers, reporting that there were 10 traffic-related fatalities in the state, none in Troop G’s district, which contains Decatur County.

Miller said that for its size, Bainbridge has a high accident rate.

“We have an abnormally high accident rate here in Southwest Georgia,” Miller said, “and we’re not quite sure why. We keep looking at road conditions, speed limits and signage. Part of it could be from texting, but to say there’s a sole cause, you can’t do it. We keep looking at it and trying to come up with ways to reduce this number.”

Miller also said that the weather conditions do not affect the accident rate and that the number doesn’t increase with rainy conditions.

“The traffic volume here is not that heavy,” Miller said, “so I’m still at a loss to explain why we would have this many accidents compared to other cities our size in our region.”