2017-08-09 / Other News

‘Operation Southern Shield’ a success

Operation Southern Shield, the multi-state speeding awareness and enforcement operation took place July 17-23 in Georgia, Alabama, Florida, South Carolina and Tennessee has been declared a success.

The 17 traffic deaths reported in Georgia during the seven-day operation reflected a 51 percent decrease from the 35 fatalities reported to GDOT for the same seven-day period the week before “Operation Southern Shield” and a 45 percent reduction from the 31 traffic deaths that were reported for July 3-9.

Other states who participated in “Operation Southern Shield” are reporting similar results.

During “Operation Southern Shield” the Georgia Department of Public Safety and local law enforcement agencies combined to make more than 6,900 traffic stops.

The Georgia State Patrol reports their troopers issued 8,183 warnings and 7,473 citations for traffic offenses during the week. Troopers wrote 3,287 speeding citations, 602 seat belt citations, and took 224 drunk and impaired drivers off the road.

GSP Post 14 troopers investigated only six crashes during Operation Southern Shield, with two injuries. During the same week last year Post 14 investigated 21 crashes.

Post 14 troopers stopped 81 cars during the week, issuing 40 citations, including 19 for speeding, two each for DUI, seatbelt and child restraint violations. A total of 93 warnings were issued, including 19 for speeding and 25 for distracted driving.

Preliminary numbers from sheriff’s deputies and police departments show 3,427 warnings or citations were issued for speeding. Local law enforcement officers issued warnings and citations for 3,416 other traffic offenses including 364 seat belt violations and made 76 DUI arrests.

“Everywhere we traveled last week, the overall speed on the road was slower than what we usually see,” Roger Hayes, Governor’s Office of Highway Safety Law Enforcement Services Director said. “Law enforcement cannot be everywhere at once, and we need drivers to continue to drive at safe speeds and keep their full attention on what is happening on the road.”

“Operation Southern Shield” raised awareness of the danger of speeding on our roads, which the National Transportation Safety Board said this week is needed more in the United States.

The NTSB study of traffic data from 2005- 2014 found that just as many people died in the United States from speeding-related crashes as those who died in crashes involving alcohol, and speeding increases the chances of motorists being severely injured or killed in a crash.

The NTSB report finds that elevating the problem of speeding with other dangerous driving behaviors such as impaired, distracted and drowsy driving is essential in the goal of reaching zero traffic deaths in our nation.

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