2017-07-12 / Front Page

Operation Southern Shield

Obey posted speed limits or pull over when you see the blue lights!

Motorists who think they can drive a few miles over the speed limit without getting pulled over could soon see blue lights in the rearview mirror as Georgia joins a multi-state effort to reduce traffic deaths by getting drivers to follow the posted speed limit.

“Operation Southern Shield” begins Monday, July 17 and is a week-long speed enforcement initiative on interstates, major highways and local roads in Georgia, Alabama, Florida, South Carolina and Tennessee, which make up Region 4 of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

“We talk so much about the dangers of drunk, distracted and drowsy driving, but speeding is still one of the leading causes of fatal traffic crashes in Georgia and the nation,” stated Harris Blackwood, Director of the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety. “The goal of this operation is to show driving within the speed limit makes the road safer for all of us to drive.”

According to NHTSA, speeding was a factor in crashes that killed 9,553 people across the United States in 2015. Almost half of the fatal speeding-related crashes in the nation happened on rural non interstate roads.

In Georgia, the number of speeding related fatalities has almost doubled over the last four years. There were 268 speeding-related fatalities in 2015, which was a 25 percent increase from 2014. The number of total traffic deaths in Georgia has increased in each of the last two years after declining for eight consecutive years.

A crash is considered to be speeding related if any driver involved in the crash was charged with a speeding-related offense, or if a law enforcement officer indicates exceeding the posted speed limit, driving too fast for conditions or racing was a contributing factor in the crash.

“Our objective over the next week is to make the public aware and to encourage them to slow down and drive safely,” stated Colonel Mark McDonough, Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Safety.

“Operation Southern Shield” will kick off with simultaneous news conferences at 11 a.m. Monday, July 17 in all five states.

The Governor’s Office of Highway Safety’s 16 regional traffic enforcement networks will be conducting speed enforcement details and patrols throughout the week-long period and the remaining 100-Days of Summer H.E.A.T.

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