By: Associated Press
July 16, 2017
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) -- Police in five Southeastern states are launching a week-long program to reduce summertime wrecks and traffic deaths.
"Operation Southern Shield" begins Monday in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and Tennessee.
Alabama officials say the campaign aims to reduce the number of drivers who are speeding, impaired, distracted, and not wearing seat belts.
In South Carolina, Highway Patrol Captain Bob Beres says drivers can expect to see additional troopers on both interstate highways and back roads throughout the week. Extra patrols are being funded by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Statistics from the agency show wrecks killed about 35,000 people in the United States in 2015, an increase of 7 percent from 2014.
Traffic fatalities increased in 2015 in Alabama, Florida, Georgia and South Carolina. Traffic deaths were down slightly in Tennessee.