Drivers who have been putting the pedal to the metal during the COVID-19 pandemic need to hit the brakes or expect to see blue lights in the rearview mirror when the “Operation Southern Shield” speed enforcement and awareness campaign begins Monday, July 20.
The southeastern regional campaign returns for a fourth year after reducing traffic deaths in Georgia in the first three years of the week-long enforcement period compared to the week before and after the enforcement effort.
This year’s “Southern Shield” campaign reinforces the message on the dangers of driving above the legal speed limit as fewer vehicles traveling on interstates and major highways during the pandemic have contributed to an increase in speeding in Georgia and the nation.
”The sharp decrease in the number of people traveling on our roads during the pandemic has not led to a corresponding drop in the number of traffic deaths according to preliminary data from the Georgia Department of Transportation,” Governor’s Office of Highway Safety Director Allen Poole said.
“The increased speeding this year is further proof driving over the speed limit significantly increases your chances of being in a crash that results in severe or fatal injuries.”
Preliminary data from the Georgia Department of Transportation shows Southern Shield has saved lives in Georgia in the last three years. When the campaign was held July 15-21 last year, the number of traffic deaths in Georgia was 29 percent lower in the final two weeks of the month compared to the first two.
Seventy people were killed in traffic crashes from July 1-14 and 50 from July 15-29.
Georgia State law also requires clinical evaluation and the attendance of a DUI / Risk Reduction Program that’s certified/licensed by the Georgia Department of Driver’s Services before your driver’s license can be reinstated if you have been charged with any of the following:
- Drug Possession
- Other drug offenses
- Under-age possession of drugs or alcohol
Before getting behind the wheel after having a few, consider the many reasons why you should not.