Milledgeville police using H.E.A.T. to watch distracted drivers

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MILLEDGEVILLE, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Police are watching carefully for speeders and distracted drivers in Milledgeville.

The push is part of the annual H.E.A.T. program aimed at reducing traffic accidents.

The numbers are down, but there’s still a need to enforce.

“I think seeing patrol car automatically makes people a little fearful because they don’t want a ticket,” Major John Davis said.

Milledgeville police officers are back out on the city’s streets watching and waiting for drivers.

“We want people to know the laws, to know what they’re there for — that they’re there to maintain order and safety on the roadways which is a big part in reducing accidents,” Davis said.

He and officers are continuing the annual H.E.A.T. program that teaches drivers about safety laws from speeding to making sure people’s seat belts are buckled.

Officers have handed out more than 100 traffic tickets for the month whether for speeding or another reason.

“It’s when the high enforcement period starts where we begin to write tickets a lot more frequently and a lot more emphasis on that portion of traffic enforcement,” Davis said.

North Columbia Street is a problem area according to Davis.

“We have a lot of accidents in that area, both at the entrance at Walmart and in various other locations in that place,” he said.

When the program first started, police officers saw a decrease of about 250 citations — now Davis says the numbers are still getting lower, but they’re leveling off.

“We’re continuing to try to bring that message to get more people involved in this and more people understanding the state laws and how important it is when you get behind the wheel of a car,” Davis said.

An important understanding drivers need to make sure they’re aware of when they hit the road.

Major Davis says a lot of people think distracted driving only has to deal with texting and driving, but it can be anything from changing the station on the radio to grabbing a drink from a cup holder.

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(478) 745-4141 ext. 311 Skyler joined the 41 NBC News Team in April 2013. He anchors the news at 6 p.m. and also covers stories going on throughout the day. He was born in Brooklyn, New York and raised in Stone Mountain, Georgia, a suburb right outside of Atlanta. Before heading to Middle Georgia, Skyler worked as a stage manager for WSB- TV in Atlanta. Skyler graduated from Georgia Southern University in Statesboro, Georgia in 2011 with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Multimedia Communication. He went to school initially to be an architect, but one step inside of the student radio station changed everything. While at Georgia Southern, he was exposed to radio and television and became the Program Director of the student radio station and was a part of a team that received a Southeast Regional student Emmy for their work on the program "Inside Georgia Southern Football." Skyler anchored and reported for Georgia Southern University's "Eagle News." There he covered the 2010 midterm elections live as well as reported on stories in the community. In the Spring 2012, Skyler interned for Clear Channel in Los Angeles, California. Skyler is a proud member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Incorporated. In his free time, you can find Skyler watching the latest movies and reading up on all things in Hollywood. He also loves spending time with his family and friends and finding inspirational quotes. He loves telling stories about politics, tax dollars at work in the community, and highlighting people and business who don’t normally get the spotlight. If you have any story ideas, email Skyler at shenry@41nbc.com.