Category Archives: People

Drivers Who Exceed the Speed Limit are Warned to Slow Down or be Prepared to Get Pulled Over

Motorists who think they drive faster than the legal speed limit without getting pulled over could soon see blue lights in the rearview mirror as Georgia joins a multi-state effort to reduce traffic deaths by getting drivers to follow the posted speed limit.

Don't speed of you'll be next - GOHS Operation Southern Shield
Photo credit: GOHS Facebook

“Operation Southern Shield” begins Monday, July 17 and is a week-long speed prevention and enforcement initiative on interstates, major highways and local roads in Georgia, Alabama, Florida, South Carolina and Tennessee.

“When you cash a check for $50 at the bank, they don’t give you $60,” Harris Blackwood, Director of the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety said. “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.”

In Georgia, the number of speeding-related fatalities has almost doubled from 2012-2015.  According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA, there were 268 speeding-related fatalities in 2015 in the state, which was a 25 percent increase from 2014.

Preliminary numbers from the Georgia Department of Transportation show there were 1,561 people killed in traffic crashes in 2016, which is the second consecutive year the number of traffic deaths in the state has increased after those numbers had declined for nine straight years.

According to NHTSA, speeding was a factor in 27 percent of the fatal crashes in the United States in 2015 that killed 9,553 people, and almost half of the fatal speeding-related crashes in the nation happened on rural non-interstate roads.

NHTSA considers a crash to be speeding-related if any driver involved in the crash was charged with a speeding-related offense, or if a law enforcement officer found exceeding the posted speed limit, driving too fast for conditions or racing was a contributing factor in the crash.

“Operation Southern Shield is a very worthwhile endeavor because speeding is a major contributing factor to fatal crashes in the state of Georgia,” Colonel Mark McDonough, Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Safety said. “Our objective over the next week is to make the public aware and to encourage them to slow down and drive safely.”

“By publicizing this operation now, we want drivers across the southeast to choose on their own to obey the speed limit,” Blackwood said. “Drivers who follow the law will have nothing to worry about, but those who keep their foot on the accelerator run the risk of getting a ticket.”

Operation Southern Shield” will kick off with news conferences on July 17 in all five states. The states will then work simultaneously throughout the week to enforce speed limit laws on interstates, state highways, and local roads.

The Governor’s Office of Highway Safety’s 16 regional traffic enforcement networks will be conducting speed enforcement patrols in their local communities.

For more information about the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, please go to our websites or  Follow us on Facebook at and on Twitter at @gohsgeorgia for the latest highway safety information.

Carter Statement on the President’s Fiscal Year 2018 Budget

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Earl L. “Buddy” Carter (GA-01) released the following statement today on the release of the president’s fiscal year 2018 budget request:

“It is encouraging to finally have a president that realizes it’s past time to cut up the credits cards. This budget proposal creates a framework for a necessary and long overdue discussion about  reining in Washington’s spending addiction. Our current fiscal trajectory is simply not sustainable and something needs to be done.

“At the same time, it’s important to remember that this is just the starting point for budget discussions. As we work to create a fiscally sound budget to grow our economy, it’s my job to ensure the First District is supported and I take that job very seriously. I will fight for our ports, the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project, the Coast Guard, our military installations, the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, and other critical projects as discussions continue.”

Georgia Law Enforcement Officers Stepping Up Enforcement of State’s Seat Belt Law During Annual Click It or Ticket Campaign

Georgia drivers and their passengers are being warned to buckle their seat belts or face the consequences of being hit with a traffic ticket during this summer.

State and local law officers in Georgia are increasing their enforcement of the state’s seat belt law during the annual Click It or Ticket mobilization that begins on Monday, May 15.

“Georgia law requires drivers and passengers to wear their seatbelts for one important reason, it saves lives,” Harris Blackwood, Director of the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety said. “More than half the people killed in traffic crashes in our state were not wearing seatbelts, and many of them would still be alive today had they been buckled up.”

According to the United States Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 9.784 people killed in traffic crashes in 2015 were not wearing seat belts at the time of the crash.

Fatalities involving people not wearing their seat belts are also more prevalent at night when 51 percent of those were killed between the hours of 6:00 p.m. and 5:59 a.m. were unbelted in 2015.

In Georgia, more than 50 percent of those who died in passenger vehicle crashes in 2015 were not buckled up according to NHTSA.  There were 1,007 people killed in passenger vehicle crashes in Georgia in 2015 with 519 of those victims were not wearing seat belts or there was no way to determine if they were belted.

This year, all 16 of the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety’s Regional Traffic Enforcement Networks will join agencies across half of the United States who will be conducting simultaneous patrols and road checks looking for all traffic violations especially those who are not properly restrained.

This border to border enforcement effort begins at 4:00 p.m. on Monday, May 22 and sends the message to all motorists in Georgia there is nowhere they can drive without the realistic chance of getting a ticket for not wearing their seat belt.

“Summer is usually a time we unfortunately see an increase in the number of people killed in traffic crashes,” G.O.H.S. Law Enforcement Services Director Roger Hayes said. “Getting people to wear their seat belts every time they get in a vehicle will help reduce the rising number of deaths we have seen on our roads in the last two years.”

NHTSA estimates that seat belts have saved more than 347,000 lives over the last 40 years.  Even though the Click It or Ticket seat belt enforcement mobilization will end on June 4, state and local officers enforce Georgia’s seat belt law year-round.