ATLANTA — The nine Labor Day traffic fatalities that occurred in Georgia over the long holiday weekend were half the number of deaths that occurred on the state’s road during the 2018 holiday period.

The Georgia Department of Public Safety reported that nine deaths occurred over the 78-hour holiday weekend that began at 6 p.m. Friday and ended at midnight Monday. Two of the deaths were reported in south Georgia — one by the Georgia State Patrol post in Albany and one by GSP Valdosta.

Last year, 18 travelers lost their lives on Georgia roadways. None of the deaths in 2018 occurred in southwest Georgia.

In addition to investigating eight of the deaths this year, state troopers handled 523 traffic crashes that resulted in 288 injuries.

State troopers also arrested 244 people for driving under the influence and issued 5,897 citations and 7,320 warnings. Troopers gave out more than 600 citations for violations of the hands-free driving law that bans motorists from using handheld cellphones while driving.

In addition to the fatal wrecks worked by GSP Albany and Valdosta, GSP Swainsboro investigated two traffic deaths. Single fatalities were worked by troopers from posts in Cartersville, Dalton, Gainesville and Manchester. The Gordon County Sheriff’s Office reported one traffic death during the holiday period.

Last year during the Labor Day holiday period, which is always 78 hours long by DPS reckoning, state troopers investigated 446 traffic crashes that resulted in 203 injuries and nine of the state’s 18 fatalities.

Also, 322 people were arrested for DUI during the 2018 holiday, while 9,008 citations and 12,180 warnings were issued.