Operation Southern Slow Down: Troopers in Florida, Georgia are on lookout for lead-footed drivers

This is your warning: Buckle Up. Slow Down. Put the phone down.

Troopers in five different states on Monday began “Operation Southern Slow Down,” a campaign aiming to crack down on drivers who tend to speed.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Troopers in five different states began “Operation Southern Slow Down” -- a campaign aiming to crack down on drivers who tend to speed -- on Monday.

The campaign is a joint effort with Alabama, Georgia, Florida, South Carolina and Tennessee.

According to the agencies, there has been a noticeable jump in the number of drivers hitting triple-digit speeds over the last two years. In 2020, 285 people died in Florida because someone was driving faster than the posted limit, data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shows. In Georgia, the number was even higher: 380.

“We will be out there in force,” the Florida Highway Patrol said on Monday. “High visibility enforcement like this helps to slow folks down and calms traffic on the entire roadway.”

News4Jax reported back in May, a man was driving on News Kings Road and Edgewood Avenue when his car veered off the road, crashed, and caught fire. Investigators said speed was a factor in the county’s 71st traffic-related death. It happened in the evening hours of May 9 when a man was thrown from a car after he hit a guardrail and the car burst into flames. He died as a result.

According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, “speeding” was a contributing factor in one out of every four fatal traffic crashes nationwide. It’s why those highway agencies launched “Operation Southern Slow Down.”

“Slowdown,” Georgia officials said on Monday. “It’s very simple. Get to that destination safely and alive.”

Transportation officials say that the two main contributing factors to the reason people speed – is due to frustration over slow traffic and the driver running late.

Of course, law enforcement officials say neither of those is a good reason to put other people in danger.

Officials had this advice on Monday: Buckle Up. Slow Down. Put the phone down.

Troopers in five different states will kick off “Operation Southern Slow Down” Monday -- aiming to crack down on drivers who tend to speed.

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Joe covers education and breaking news. He is a frequent contributor to the News4Jax I-team and Trust Index coverage.