Category Archives: Notices

Operation Southern Shield Regional Speed Enforcement Operation Begins Monday

(ATLANTA) –  Law enforcement officers in Georgia are ready to put the hammer down on drivers who are hammering down on their gas pedal during the second annual “Operation Southern Shield” speed enforcement operation.

After last year’s highly successful operation that drew national attention, Georgia will join neighboring states in Alabama, Florida, Tennessee and South Carolina in pulling over drivers who are breaking the law by traveling above the legal speed limit on interstates, major highways and local roads from Monday, July 16 through Sunday, July 22.

“Our troopers are dedicated to participating in collaborative enforcement efforts like Operation Southern Shield, that encourages motorists to drive safely and slow down,” said Colonel Mark W. McDonough, Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Safety. “Our main focus this week is reducing crashes and providing a safer transportation experience for motorists traveling in our state.”

According to the latest data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, speeding killed more than 10,000 people in the United States in 2016 and was a factor in 27 percent of fatal crashes in the nation.

A recent study from the United States Department of Transportation found that speed was a factor in 31 percent of fatal crashes in the U.S. from 2005-2014.

According to preliminary numbers from the Georgia Department of Transportation, the number of traffic deaths reported in the state during last year’s Southern Shield was 35 percent lower than the other three weeks of July.

Specifically, there were 25 traffic deaths reported in Georgia during Operation Southern Shield from July 17-23 compared to 34 on July 3-9, 41 on July 10-16 and 39 from July 24-30.

Troopers with the Georgia State Patrol and local law enforcement officers combined to issue 12,469 speeding citations over the seven-day period and took 552 suspected DUI drivers to jail and also made 472 felony arrests.

“If you are pulled over next week, don’t ask for a warning because this is it,” Harris Blackwood, Director of the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety said.  “Many of the citations issued last year were for speeds that were well over the legal posted limit.  The speed limit on every road in this state is set to protect everyone who is traveling on them.”

While state and local law enforcement agencies will be handling their own speed enforcement operations across the five southeastern states, Georgia will once again join their law enforcement partners in Alabama, Florida, Tennessee and South Carolina for joint operations during the week.

For more information about the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, follow us on Facebook at Georgia GOHS, and on Twitter and Instagram at gohsgeorgia.

Georgia and Tennessee kicked off Operation Southern Shield Monday morning at the Georgia Visitor Information Center with Colonel Mark McDonough of the Georgia Department of Public

GBI Announces 2018 Human Trafficking Notice Website Posting

Decatur, GA (July 2, 2018) – The Georgia Bureau of Investigation announces the 2018 Human Trafficking Notice posting on its website:

Per Georgia law (O.C.G.A. § 16-5-47), the following businesses and other establishments are required to post the notice in each public restroom and in a conspicuous place near the public entrance of the business or establishment or where similar notices are customarily posted:

  • Adult entertainment establishments;
  • Bars;
  • Primary airports;
  • Passenger rail or light rail stations;
  • Bus stations;
  • Truck stops;
  • Emergency rooms within general acute care hospitals;
  • Urgent care centers;
  • Farm labor contractors and day haulers;
  • Privately operated job recruitment centers;
  • Safety rest areas located along interstate highways in this state;
  • Hotels;
  • Businesses and establishments that offer massage or bodywork services by a person who is not a massage therapist; and
  • Government buildings

Please reference O.C.G.A. § 16-5-47 for full business/establishment definitions and details.

The Countdown to Hands-free in Georgia Nearing Zero

(ATLANTA) –  Ready or not, drivers in Georgia will have to keep their phones out of their hands and away from their bodies if they want to talk on their devices when the state’s Hands-Free Law takes effect this Sunday.

The switch to hands-free comes during one of the busiest travel periods of the year and at a time when the Georgia State Patrol and local law enforcement agencies will be on the road as they have in years past during the July 4th holiday period.

“There is no 90-day grace period in the law, which means drivers who are caught with a phone in their hand or any part of their body starting Sunday run the risk of getting a citation,” Harris Blackwood, Director of the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety said.  “While a good number of officers and law enforcement agencies will be issuing warnings during the first few months, we encourage all drivers to go hands-free before July 1.”

Georgia’s Hands-Free Law will only allow drivers to talk on their phones without having it in their hands or supported by their body.

Even with hands-free, drivers cannot write, read or send text messages, e-mails, social media or any other material on the internet, however, voice-to-text communication is legal.

The law also prohibits drivers from watching and recording video, but they can watch GPS/navigational videos and continuous running dash cams are permitted.

Drivers can listen to streaming music through their phones, but cannot touch their phone to program them when they are on the road but music apps that include video do violate the Hands-Free Law.

Parking their phones when they are on the road will hopefully reduce the number of crashes during the July 4th holiday period as AAA is predicting a record 39.6 million people will be traveling by vehicle in the United States from Tuesday, July 3 through Sunday, July 8.

“The peak of the summer travel season means there will be more vehicles on the road, and that requires drivers to stay focused on what is happening on the road and avoiding distractions like their phones,” Colonel Mark W. McDonough, Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Safety said. “The Georgia State Patrol reminds drivers to exercise caution in holiday travels, no matter how short the trip may be. Obey the posted speed limit, check that everyone is wearing a seat belt, and make sure when talking on your phone when behind the wheel that it is not in your hand or on any part of your body after July 1.”

While the focus has been on drivers to park their phones before the Hands-Free Law takes effect, the Georgia State Patrol, Georgia Department of Transportation and Governor’s Office of Highway Safety remind everyone to keep the fireworks off the road by not getting behind the wheel if they are planning to celebrate with alcohol.

Preliminary numbers from GDOT show there 41 people killed in traffic crashes in the state from July 1-9 in 2017 and eight of those deaths were alcohol-related.

State and local law enforcement officers have zero tolerance for impaired drivers and will take any driver they find whose blood-alcohol concentration level is above the state limit of .08 to jail.

Those whose July 4th celebration plans include alcohol are encouraged to plan ahead for a ride with a sober driver or with a ride service.

The Governor’s Office of Highway Safety reminds everyone that more information on the Hands-Free Law can be found at and motorists can keep up to date with the latest highway safety news by following us on Facebook (GOHS Georgia) and at gohsgeorgia on Twitter and Instagram.