Operation Southern Shield: ALEA, local law enforcement crack down on speeders

(Source: WSFA 12 News file photo)
(Source: WSFA 12 News file photo)
Updated: Jul. 14, 2017 at 7:53 AM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Officials have issued a warning for drivers: slow down!

The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs is teaming up with local law enforcement offices across Alabama and the Southeast July 17 through July 23 for a campaign to reduce the number of crashes, injuries, and fatalities caused by driving at excessive speeds.

"Summer is a time when families come together for fun, not funerals, and Gov. Ivey's goal is to increase safety on Alabama's highways," ADECA Director Kenneth Boswell said. "Gov. Ivey and ADECA wholeheartedly endorse this effort and urge drivers to at all times to slow down, wear your seat belts and pay attention to the road."

Officials say speed is the number one cause of driving fatalities in Alabama.

In 2015, speed was determined to be a factor in 28 percent of the fatal crashes. Also in those 2015 speed-related traffic deaths, 63 percent of the victims were not wearing seat belts and 43 percent of the drivers had been drinking.

"We're just trying to save lives," said Bill Whatley of ADECA'S Law Enforcement and Traffic Safety Division. "Blue lights seem to slow people down better than anything. Officers out there, they just want people to be safe. They're not there particularly to write tickets, they want folks to arrive at their destination and enjoy their lives."

The safety campaign is also being conducted in Georgia, Florida, South Carolina and Tennessee, which along with Alabama, make up the NHTSA's Southeast enforcement region.

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