Operation Southern Shield: Multi-state effort to decrease traffic fatalities

The state of Georgia is part of a weeklong effort in five southern states to make our roads safer. It's called Operation Southern Shield.

Law enforcement officers are trying to reduce car crashes, deaths, and injuries by targeting drivers who are speeding, texting, or disobeying other roadway rules.

Officials said the goal is not to write tickets but rather to educate drivers, and encourage them to change those habits.

"One life lost is one too many and if speed is the cause of someone losing their life, then we need to do something about it and that’s what we’re gonna do," said Lt. Maurice Raines, Georgia State Patrol. "If you’re looking at your phone, you’re not looking at the road. Meaning you’re endangering your life and someone else’s life and you’re reactionary time that you need to either slow down or change lanes or whatever you need to do driving, you just decreased the ability of being able to do that."

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nearly 40,000 people died in car crashes nationwide last year. That's a more than 7% increase from 2019.

South Carolina, Florida, Alabama, and Tennessee are also taking part in this effort.

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