NORTH AUGUSTA — Observant drivers, dog walkers and other travelers around Riverside Village may have caught an unusual sight Friday morning, with SRP Park getting a visit from uniformed highway patrolmen and their vehicles, representing Tennessee, Georgia and the Carolinas.
A film crew was on hand to record a message, to be aired in a few weeks during Atlanta Braves games, to remind viewers to exercise common sense while on the road, whether cruising the highways or backroads somewhere between Memphis and Myrtle Beach.
Helping run the show on both sides of the Savannah River was Robert Hydrick, communications director of the Georgia Governor's Office of Highway Safety.
"It's something we started two years ago, called the 'All-South Highway Safety Team,' and we're just producing some new spots that are going to air during the season," Hydrick said, citing Fox Sports and Fox Sports South as the places to see the promotional announcements.
The film crew got footage inside and outside of SRP Park.
"We chose Augusta because we've got troopers from these four states, and it's kind of an easy meeting point for everybody," Hydrick said, acknowledging that the crew also got some Friday footage in Augusta.
"The spots are going to be promoting seat belt use and sober driving and speed prevention, to remind ... people to wear their seat belts and to not drive under the influence, but speeding is a major factor in a majority of crashes, especially fatal crashes, and our job in highway safety is to reduce crashes and prevent injuries, prevent deaths."
Friday's gathering at the baseball stadium included a few minutes of humor, as the four troopers tried – without cue cards – to coordinate their delivery of a line: "The All-South Highway Safety Team reminds you to drive safe. Go Braves!"
Plans are for more video spots to be recorded this week, in Atlanta, to supplement those that have been getting airtime during the past couple of years of Braves games.
The Braves' first regular-season game is to be March 26 on the road versus the Arizona Diamondbacks, and the first home contest is set for April 3 versus the Florida Marlins. The Atlanta squad's home field, formerly known as SunTrust Park, was renamed this year as Truist Park, referring to a Charlotte-based bank holding company.