ATLANTA — Law enforcement officers in Georgia say they’re pleased with the results of a multistate enforcement and education campaign that ended on Friday evening.
Operation Southern Slow Down, a weeklong operation, focused on speed prevention and aggressive driving.
“We are seeing an increase in crashes and fatalities that are pertaining to speed,” said Cpl. Robert Godown, who works out of the Georgia State Patrol Post 51 in Gwinnett County.
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“We’re just out trying to be visible to the drivers on the interstates of Georgia and let them know that we’re trying to keep them safe,” he added.
On Friday, Channel 2 got the opportunity to go along with Godown as he patrolled portions of Interstate 85 near Suwanee.
“I would rather you slow down and make it there safe, so we don’t have to contact your loved ones and say something happened to you,” he added.
Operation Southern Slow Down will take place in five southeastern states from July 18 to July 24. The states are Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and Tennessee.
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During the campaign, officers will be on the lookout for drivers traveling well above the legal limit.
According to the release, law enforcement agencies in the Southeast have seen a significant increase in the number of cars traveling at speeds above 100 miles per hour in the last two years.
NHTSA reported that the number of people killed in speed-related crashes in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and Tennessee increased by 14% in 2020 compared to 2019.
There were 1,611 people killed in traffic crashes that involved speeding in these five states in 2020, and 1,418 persons killed in crashes involving speeding the prior year.
“The majority of people driving in a safe and legal manner should not have to worry about their safety from selfish drivers who show no regard for their safety and the safety of others with their disregard for speed limits and other highway safety laws,” said Allen Poole, director of the Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety. “Georgia is once again ready to work with our friends in our neighboring states to protect all road users by putting these dangerous drivers on the shoulder of the road and issuing them a ticket.”
During the first five years of Operation Southern Slow Down in Georgia, state troopers and local law enforcement officers issued more than 55,000 speeding citations, 9,900 seat belt citations and 2,100 citations for children under 8 years old not riding in an approved child-safety seat.
Law enforcement officers arrested 3,255 drivers for DUI and 3,488 persons for driving without a valid license.
NHTSA wants to remind drivers to:
· Give speeding drivers plenty of space.
· If speeding drivers are following too closely, allow them to pass.
· Stay out of the far-left lane unless they are passing another vehicle.
· Always wear a seat belt.
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