Newnan Police offer advice on safe driving

by Wes Mayer

Newnan Police Department wants to reduce the frequency of motor vehicle accidents.

Department officials have put together a list of tips to advise motorists — such as being cautious and attentive.

According to NPD officials, most accidents occur when motorists make erratic decisions and maneuvers, do not follow laws or safety instructions or simply do not pay attention to other drivers.

“Motorists need to be patient when driving,” said Newnan Police Chief Buster Meadows. “Allow extra time so a prolonged stop at an intersection or a traffic jam does not irritate the driver into becoming an aggressive driver. Be courteous to other drivers as you may need them to be courteous to you one day.”

Traffic accidents occur often at intersections, passing lanes, and on- and off-ramps for highways, according to officials.

To avoid accidents, NPD offers these tips:

• At intersections, both controlled and uncontrolled by traffic lights, it is important for drivers to have a good view of all incoming vehicle and pedestrian traffic. Drivers are advised to remember to look both ways before crossing any intersection, even those controlled by traffic lights.

• Officials want to remind all drivers that a red light does not directly cause a motorist to stop their vehicle. Impaired or reckless drivers may still run red lights and possibly collide with law-abiding drivers or pedestrians in intersections who might not have looked before crossing. Drivers should also not “jump” on green lights, officials say, because an intersection might not yet be clear of traffic.

• All drivers should be aware of their own speed and time it will take them to cross through an intersection. Drivers should be prepared to stop within 100 feet of an intersection if need be.

• For passing lanes, drivers should be aware of other motorists — whether they are attempting to pass or are being passed. Passing should only be done to the left with slower traffic remaining to the right. Passing should be completed quickly with a clear visibility of the passing lane, but it should not require speeds exceeding the limit.

• On-ramps are ramps motorists use to enter highways. NPD officials remind drivers that on-ramps are designed for drivers to increase speeds for highway travel. For drivers entering highways, they are advised to increase speeds, use their signals and safely merge with traffic. To make this occur more smoothly, motorists driving on the right-hand lane of the highway should change lanes or adjust speeds accordingly to allow on-ramp traffic to easily merge.

Some on-ramps in Georgia are now equipped with entrance traffic lights, they note. These lights reduce the “bottlenecking” of on-ramp traffic and allow drivers to focus more on merging into the highway and focus less on other on-ramp drivers.

• Off-ramps are ramps motorists use to exit highways. These ramps are designed for motorists to decelerate once leaving the highway, and motorists are advised to only begin deceleration once they are no longer in highway traffic. Drivers should be prepared to exit the highway by driving in the right-hand lane, and should use their signal to alert other drivers. Off-ramps often also have specific speed limits which all drivers should follow to reduce any risks.

• Drivers should not brake sharply or quickly cross over multiple lanes to access a hightway off-ramp. If a driver misses the turn for an off-ramp, they should not perform any illegal maneuvers and should exit safely at the next off-ramp.

By following these tips from officials, drivers should be able to reduce the risk of accidents and the likeliness of harming themselves or others.

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