When the summer season kicks off next weekend, it may hard to tell which is going to be higher — gas prices, the temperatures or the HEAT.

Georgia law enforcement officials begin 100 Days of Summer HEAT, or “Highway Enforcement of Aggressive Traffic” Sunday, a few days before Memorial Day weekend.

But with gas prices an average of 79 cents higher than this time last year, will the roads be as crowded?

“They’ll be just as many out there,” said Sgt. Clay Tucker of the Dalton post of the Georgia State Patrol. “Especially Memorial Day when we’ve historically had a lot of fatalities.”

Officials with AAA Auto Club South agree.

The average price for a gallon of gas in Georgia is $2.82, in Florida, $2.88 and $2.75 in Tennessee, the auto club states. But the auto club is predicting that more than 843,000 Georgians will take a trip at least 50 miles from their home in their cars. That is up about 1 percent from last year.

“Similarly, the summer vacation has long been a family tradition for many that will not be discouraged and we believe that substantial Memorial Weekend travel will be a harbinger for the entire summer,” said Kevin Bakewell, senior vice president of the auto club.

With more people on the roads, more police will be out looking for speeders, seat belt violators and drunken drivers.

Tucker said look for more concentrated patrols and road checks.

“We bring in troopers from other patrol posts,” Tucker said. “And the holidays, we work them when everyone else is off to have more people out there.”

Every road in Whitfield County is plagued with speed and traffic volume problems, Tucker said.

“The majority of our wrecks are on county and state roads,” Tucker said. “Our DUIs, the majority are also on county and state road as opposed to the interstate.”

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