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Operation Southern Shield: Law enforcement officers in 5 states crack down on speeders

File photo of Florida Highway Patrol cruiser
File photo of Florida Highway Patrol cruiser (WJXT 2020)

Law enforcement officers in Florida, Georgia and three other southern states are taking part in a crackdown on speeding drivers from July 19 to July 24.

“Operation Southern Shield” is a joint effort with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the states of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and Tennessee.

The Florida Highway Patrol will be specifically focused on detecting and citing drivers for exceeding the posted speed limits across Florida’s interstate corridors, according to the Florida Department of Transportation.

“Speeding endangers not only the life of the speeder but all road users around them, including law enforcement officers and other public safety workers,” said Col. Gene Spaulding, director of FHP. “The Florida Highway Patrol is pleased to partner with our neighboring states and local law enforcement agencies in our continued effort to make Florida’s roadways safer for all.”

In 2019, according to NHTSA, speeding killed more than 9,000 people nationwide, with nearly 47% of speeding drivers in these fatal crashes failing to wear a seat belt.

Preliminary 2020 data from the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles shows traffic fatalities increased by 4.67% from 2019 to 2020, despite a 15.31% decrease in total crashes statewide. In 2020, speeding was a contributing factor in approximately 12% of traffic crash fatalities statewide, resulting in nearly 400 deaths.

Here are some tips from FDOT to stay safe on Florida’s roadways this summer:

  • Anticipate increased traffic during peak travel periods. Plan ahead and give yourself ample drive time.
  • Buckle up and make sure all passengers are buckled up the entire trip.
  • Slow down in construction zones. Keep in mind that construction increases during the summer season.
  • No matter how eager you are to get to your destination, speeding and driving aggressively is dangerous. Stay patient and give other road users plenty of space.
  • If you observe aggressive driving, do not engage with the other driver. Dial *FHP (*347) or 911 for local law enforcement.