Local

Coweta County adds new H.E.A.T Unit to agency to target speeding and aggressive drivers

COWETA COUNTY, Ga. — Coweta County is the latest Georgia county to add a HEAT Unit: Highway Enforcement of Aggressive Traffic.

Channel 2′s Candace McCowan said the county hopes the new unit will gain them a reputation that out of control driving isn’t tolerated here.

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Body camera footage shows a Coweta County Sheriff’s Office H.E.A.T. Unit deputy asking a driver during a traffic stop why they were driving over the speed limit.

“Is there a reason why you’re driving 30 miles over the speed limit?” asked the deputy.

It’s all too common. Drivers are sometimes clocked going 20 or 30 miles per hour over the speed limit in some spots.

“They’re cutting across lanes from one to two to three, not using turn signals,” said Captain Jason Wood.

Captain Wood is over the Coweta County Sheriff’s office new H.E.A.T. Unit, which is funded by a grant from the Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety. The unit hit the road in October to target aggressive drivers.

“We have what you call heat maps. So, you look and see where our accidents are occurring, where you have problematic area with speeding,” said Wood.

The CCSO shared body camera video of a driver going 80 in a residential area. When H.E.A.T deputies went to pull him over, the driver took off.

“He ended up hitting another car, jumping out and took off running. The deputy chased him down and ended up subduing him and arresting him,” said Wood.

Wood said the driver was eventually charged with Driving Under the Influence.

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Since October, the H.E.A.T Unit in Coweta County has made many arrests, issued 1,845 citations, and written 844 warnings.

The county had 19 fatalities last year, but they’re hoping they can get the word out that Coweta County won’t tolerate reckless aggressive drivers.

“We want everybody to drive safe, slow down, put the phone down where your seatbelt and drive careful,” said Wood.

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