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 rear view mirror during the Operation Southern Shield speed enforcement and awareness campaign.
The campaign, returning for a fourth year, began Monday and will run through July 26.
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, 2019, the number of traffic deaths in Georgia was 29% 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.
In the first year of the enforcement campaign, Operation Southern Shield reduced traffic deaths in Georgia by 35% in 2017 compared to the week before and after the July 17-23 enforcement period. In 2018, the number of traffic deaths in the state was 22% lower during Southern Shield week compared to the week after the July 16-22 speed enforcement and awareness campaign.
Those traveling in Georgia during Southern Shield week can expect to see state troopers, sheriff’s deputies and police officers enforcing all traffic laws. The goal will be to prevent crashes by stopping motorists who are endangering public safety on Georgia roads by speeding, driving distracted, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs and other violations of the state’s traffic laws.