Operation Southern Shield aims to slow speeders, other traffic violators

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MONTGOMERY, Ala (WRBL)- Law enforcement in five states, including Alabama and Georgia, are now going full speed with Operation Southern Shield. It’s a join effort to stop speeders and others violating the laws of the road– aimed at making highways safer this summer.

“If you kill somebody because you are speeding, it’s not just a violation, it’s a felony offense,” said Kenneth Davis, Russell County district attorney.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), speeding has been a factor in nearly one-third of all traffic deaths in the United States over the past two decades. In 2017, speeding killed 9,717 people – approximately 26% of that year’s nationwide traffic fatalities. In 2018, approximately 346 individuals were killed in speed-related traffic crashes across Alabama.

State and local officers with 295 law enforcement agencies in Alabama issued more than 14,000 citations during this past year’s Southern Shield and 36% of the citations were issued for speeding.  Citations for the 2018 traffic safety campaign included: 5,278 for speeding, 1,009 for no seat belts, 1,150 for driving while revoked/suspended and 1,056 for no insurance. In addition, Alabama law enforcement officers took 339 suspected DUI drivers off the road during that period. 

Not only does speeding increase one’s risk of being killed or seriously injured in a crash, but it reduces the  effectiveness of seat belts and other safety equipment in vehicles, Secretary Taylor said it may lead to more severe injuries and an increased stopping distance after the driver perceives danger.

One driver says he’s glad to see this initiative from law enforcement.
“There’s people out there that got a drivers license that don’t know how to drive and don’t know what a speed limit is and don’t care,” said Tom Green.

Highway Patrol and local law enforcement agencies are set to put the brakes on speeding Monday, July 15, to Sunday, July 21, during Operation Southern Shield 2019, a speed enforcement campaign covering five Southeastern states.

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