‘Operation Southern Slow Down’ speed crackdown begins Monday

Drivers who feel the need for speed should hit the brakes or be prepared to see blue lights in their rearview mirror during “Operation Southern Slow Down.” The week-long speed enforcement and education campaign formerly called “Operation Southern Shield” returns to five southeastern states July 18-24.

The campaign has a new name, but its mission to save lives by curbing reckless driving and speeding in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and Tennessee has not changed.

State troopers and local law enforcement officers will conduct focused enforcement on highways and state highways in these five states throughout the week in a team effort to stop the rising number of drivers traveling at speeds well above the legal limit. Law enforcement agencies in the Southeast and across the country have seen a substantial increase in the number of vehicles traveling at speeds over 100 miles per hour over the past two years.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the United States has seen an increase in the total number of road fatalities and speed-related fatalities over the past two years. Even though there was a 22% drop in the total number of traffic accidents in the United States in 2020 compared to 2019 and an 11% decrease in the number of miles driven in the country in 2020 compared to the previous year, the number of people killed in accidents in the United States in 2020 increased by 6.6% compared to 2019.

Speeding was a factor in 29% of total U.S. road fatalities in 2020, a 3% increase from the previous year. The number of people killed in crashes involving speeding in the United States increased by 17% in 2020 compared to 2019.

Nearly one in three speeders involved in fatal crashes in the United States in 2020 did not have a valid driver’s license at the time of the crash, and 53% of speeders involved in speeding crashes speed in the United States that year did not wear seat belts.

Federal traffic safety data shows that the youngest drivers on the road are involved in more speed-related fatalities than any other age group. Thirty-five percent of male drivers and 18 percent of female drivers in the 15 to 20 age group involved in fatal crashes in the United States in 2020 were speeding.

In the Southeast, the number of people killed in speeding crashes in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and Tennessee increased 14% in 2020 compared to 2019. There were 1,611 people killed in traffic crashes involving speeding in these five United States in 2020 and 1,418 people killed in crashes involving speeding the previous year.

“The majority of people who drive safely and legally shouldn’t have to worry about their safety in the face of selfish drivers who don’t care about their safety or the safety of others and don’t obey speed limits and other highway safety laws,” Allen said. Poole, director of the Georgia Governor‘s Office of Traffic Safety. “Georgia again stands ready to work with our friends in neighboring states to protect all road users by putting these dangerous drivers on the shoulder of the road and issuing them a ticket.

“Speeding people are almost three times more likely to be involved in fatal or serious crashes,” said Buddy Lewis, director of the Tennessee Bureau of Traffic Safety. “Speeding increases the risk of losing control of your vehicle and threatens the safety of everyone around you. All we ask is voluntary compliance so everyone can get home safely. “

“As more motorists drive on our roads and highways during the busy summer travel season, this effort will serve as a strong reminder to obey the speed limit and other road safety laws,” Kenneth said. Boswell, director of the Alabama Department of Economy and Community. Business. “We all want to arrive at our destinations safely, and ADECA is pleased to support our law enforcement officers as they work overtime to increase safety and prevent injuries and deaths from car accident.”

“We know that speeding and aggressive driving continue to be challenges for law enforcement across the country. In addition to our normal law enforcement efforts, the SC Department of Public Safety has announced Area Coordinated Law Enforcement (ACE) teams as well as new, unmarked vehicles this past July 4 weekend, said Robert G. Woods, IV, director of the Carolina Department of Public Safety. South.” We have seen promising results with these efforts to intercept dangerous and fatal driving behaviors, particularly due to speed. We are proud to stand with our partners in the South East for Operation Southern Slow Down as we work together to combat these deadly behaviors while driving across borders in the South East. »

“Florida is pleased to partner with Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee and South Carolina on the ‘Southern Slow Down’ road safety campaign. Eliminating road deaths is the top priority Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) and our safety partners,” said Will N. Watts, Jr., PE, FDOT Assistant Secretary for Engineering and Operations, and Florida Governor’s Representative for Safety “We can design the best transportation system, but speeding and aggressive driving continue to contribute to significant and critical behavioral issues on Florida roads. This partnership shows the commitment to work together and educate the community to help achieve the zero target serious injuries and fatalities on transport systems.

“Operation Southern Slow Down” began in 2017 when the five states of NHTSA Region 4 decided to organize a week-long joint speed enforcement and education awareness campaign at the during the third week of July in an effort to reduce accidents and save lives amid the summer travel period.

In the first four years of ‘Operation Southern Slow Down’, federal data shows a 2% reduction in total road deaths in the five southeastern states during the campaign week compared to the previous week and a 14% reduction in speed-related fatalities during the campaign. the week of the campaign week compared to the previous week.

In 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 citations seat belt and 2,100 citations for children under 8 not traveling in an approved child safety seat. Law enforcement arrested 3,255 drivers for impaired driving and 3,488 people for driving without a valid license.

NHTSA is offering the following safety recalls:

  • Faster speeds require more time to stop a vehicle
  • Stopping distance quadruples every time a driver doubles their speed.
  • Allow more stopping time for larger vehicles when descending on wet or uneven pavement
  • Check the speedometer when approaching a turn. Apply the brakes before the curve.
  • Remember that children generally drive as they see adults. Set a good example by driving at the speed limit.

Driving on the same road with speeding drivers

  • Give plenty of space to drivers who drive too fast
  • If speeding drivers follow too closely, let them pass
  • Stay out of the leftmost lane unless it is passing another vehicle
  • Always wear a seat belt