Officials urge motorists to abide by speed limit posted along state highways

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MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) –It’s day three of Operation Southern Shield a Speed Campaign to bring awareness to the dangers of speeding.

The state of Georgia and 4 other neighboring states will enforce the message of safe driving in hopes of saving lives.

“When the pandemic first began, we saw a dramatic decrease with vehicles on the road by much of 50 percent,” said Robert Hydrick Communication Manager for the Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety.

But the number of traffic deaths hasn’t dropped at all according to Hydrick.

Operation Southern Shield is a partnership between five states: Alabama, Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, and Tennessee.

The campaign is in its 4th year and its mission is to prevent or reduce speeding on region highways and stop deaths related to fast driving.

“Even 5 to 10 miles over the speed limit significantly increases your chances of being in a crash,” said Hydrick.

Communications Manager for the Georgia’s Governor Office of Highway Safety Robert Hydrick says in 2019 nearly 1500 people were killed in traffic crashes due to speeding.

Hydrick says around this time last year the number of traffic deaths in the state was 29 percent lower in the final two weeks of the month compared to the first two.

The office of highway safety says the presence of law enforcement on state highways is key and officers will be on patrol until July 26th.

“To get people to drive the speed limit, wear their seatbelts, put down their phones,” said Hydrick.

Hydrick says posted speed limits on highways are for your safety. He says he urge motorists to abide by it.

Preliminary data from the Georgia Department of Transportation shows Southern Shield has saved lives in Georgia in the last three years.

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Jatrissa Wooten is a city girl born and raised in Boston. She traveled for 42 hours from Eureka, California. There, she worked as a Multimedia Journalist and Weekend Anchor. Prior to that, she was a Reporter/Producer in Louisiana. Jatrissa graduated from Barry University in Miami Shores, Florida, with a degree in Broadcast and Emerging Media. She is now living out her dream as a broadcaster. Besides storytelling, she loves to dance, vlog, and spend time with family and friends. She comes with a BIG personality and is always down for a good laugh.