This week, Georgia is joining four nearby states to promote roadway safety by placing extra emphasis on drivers speeding or operating a vehicle unsafely. This program, Operation Southern Shield, is active across Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, South Carolina, and Florida through July 23. Officers will be cracking down to ensure drivers are driving safely and cautiously behind the wheel, and will extend to both city roads, interstates and county roads.
2017 was the first year for Operation Southern Shield, and it saw enough success to draw national attention. There was a 30% decrease in the number of traffic fatalities in participating states last year during Operation Southern Shield week, as compared to the other weeks in July. Last year in Georgia, officers wrote more than 1,200 tickets during the weeklong July operation.
Officers will be on the lookout for drivers traveling beyond the speed limit, impaired and distracted drivers, and those not wearing seatbelts.
States participating in the program hope to see a few positive outcomes, including:
- Overall reduction of roadway accidents
- Emphasizing the danger of speeding and reckless driving
- Promote and provide overall roadway safety education to drivers
The leading cause of traffic fatalities in the United States is speeding – totaling approximately 10,000 deaths in 2016 alone. The goal of Operation Southern Shield and similar programs is to promote responsible driving year around. This week simply provides as an extra reminder of what we should all remember every week of the year – a serious auto accident is only seconds away, and lives can change in an instant if we’re not careful when behind the wheel of a vehicle.