Operation Southern Shield: Speeding crackdown effort underway

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The Georgia State Patrol is cracking down on speeding by enforcing a new initiative aimed at saving lives. 

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Operation Southern Shield is a joint effort between law enforcement agencies in Georgia, Alabama, Florida, South Carolina and Tennessee. The goal of the initiative is to help stop the rising number of traffic crashes and deaths. 

The week-long speeding prevention and enforcement operation began on Monday.

According to the Georgia Department of Public Safety, one in three fatal car crashes is caused by speeding. In Georgia, the number of speeding-related traffic deaths has almost doubled from 2012 to 2015, and last year, there were more than 1,500 people killed in traffic crashes.

"When you cash a check for $50 at the bank, they don't give you $60," said Harris Blackwood, Director of the Governor's Office of Highway Safety. "Drivers who exceed the posted speed limit by 10 miles an hour or more increase their chances of being in a crash because the faster speeds reduce their reaction times and ability to stop suddenly."

Officials are hoping the publicity of Operation Southern Shield results in drivers across the southeast choosing on their own to obey the speed limit. 

The five states participating in the effort are working simultaneously throughout the week to enforce speed limit laws on interstates, state highways, and local roads.