Operation Southern Shield targets speeders across the region

Published: Jul. 17, 2019 at 8:03 PM EDT
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Emma Wheeler | WCTV Eyewitness News

July 17, 2019

LOWNDES COUNTY, Ga. (WCTV) -- Drivers are slowing down across South Georgia as law enforcement agencies join forces across the region.

On Monday agencies from states all across the Southeast kicked off Operation Southern Shield. This is the third year law enforcement from Georgia, Alabama, Florida, South Carolina and Tennessee are participating in the campaign, which focuses on enforcing speeding violations.

Officials with Georgia State Patrol said this kind of multi-state collaboration is meant to show drivers they care about the communities across borders, and they're serious about keeping the roads safe.

Last year during the campaign, more than 11,000 citations were given out, just in the state of Georgia. More than 8,000 of those were speeding violations.

But law enforcement officials said the goal of the campaign is not to write tickets, it's about educating drivers on the dangers of speeding, something troopers said can sometimes be underestimated.

"The forget the fact that speed does kill, and anytime you drive five miles over the speed limit you increase your chances of being in a fatal crash and not being able to stop when you need to stop," said Lt. Maurice Raines with the Georgia State Patrol.

Operation Southern Shield runs every summer, which officials said has a higher rate of speeders.

Now only operating in the south, many agency officials are hoping the campaign will soon go nationwide.

Georgia Highway Safety said speeding can also make seat belts or other safety equipment less effective, leading to more serious injuries if in a crash.

Operation Southern Shield runs through Sunday.