Summer 2013 marks the 10th consecutive season that police are rolling out waves of enforcement patrols across all 159 Georgia counties to crack down on dangerous, aggressive and high-speed drivers. The 100 Days of Summer H.E.A.T. (Highway Enforcement of Aggressive Traffic) campaign is a multi-jurisdictional highway safety enforcement strategy designed to reduce fatal crash counts during the summer driving period from Memorial Day, through Labor Day.
“Temperatures won’t be the only thing making the heat rise this summer,” said Director Harris Blackwood of the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety (GOHS). “From drunk drivers to aggressive speeders, all unsafe motorists will be feeling the HEAT.”
Coordinated by GOHS, the HEAT campaign has been in Georgia since 2004 and begins on May 20 this year. It coincides with the annual May kickoff of the Click It Or Ticket safety belt initiative. This combination means police officers, sheriff’s deputies and state troopers will be working together all over Georgia to get some of the state’s most dangerous offenders off the road.
“As in years past, we are launching the 100 Days of Summer HEAT campaign in conjunction with Click It or Ticket,” said Director Blackwood. “To put it simply, HEAT is an enforcement campaign. If you’re speeding, you’re getting a ticket. If you and your passengers aren’t buckled up, you’re getting a ticket. And if you’re drunk behind the wheel, you’re going straight to jail.”
Safety experts regard speeding as a high-risk behavior behind the wheel, right along with texting and DUI. Why? Because speed kills. Across Georgia in 2012, there were 1,115 speed-related crashes with 708 injuries. That’s up from 895 speed-related crashes with 531 injuries in 2011. Unfortunately, speed-related fatalities are also up…from 35 in 2011 to 37 in 2012. In fact, national research shows Georgia drivers among the highest illegal speeders in the country.
“Throughout the year, speed, drunk driving and unbuckled motorists and passengers are the top three causes of fatal crashes in Georgia,” said Director Blackwood. “That’s exactly why we launch Summer HEAT…to save lives. It’s not about ticket quotas and it’s not about revenue. When more people are on the road during the summer months, we want them to get to and from their vacations safely.”
This year’s 100 Days of Summer H.E.A.T. campaign runs through Sept. 2. Click It or Ticket runs May 20 through June 2. For more information on either lifesaving campaign, visit www.gahighwaysafety.org.