Tennessee, Georgia, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Promote “Operation Southern Shield” in Southeast | Opinion


On Wednesday, July 21, the Tennessee Highway Safety Office joined the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, the Tennessee Highway Patrol, the Georgia Highway Patrol, Erlanger Health Systems and other partners to promote “the Southern Shield operation. “The aim of this regional campaign is to increase awareness and enforcement of road safety in order to reduce speeding in the South East. Click here for photos: https://bit.ly/3iC6Ud2

“Speed ​​puts everyone on the road at risk,” said Carmen Hayes, NHTSA regional administrator. “This endangers not only the life of the speeder, but everyone on the road around them, including other drivers, pedestrians and cyclists.”

For more than two decades, speed has been involved in about a third of all motor vehicle fatalities. According to the NHTSA, speed was a contributing factor in 26% of all traffic fatalities nationwide in 2018.

“When speed kills, it’s never an accident,” said THSO director Buddy Lewis. “Every driver has a responsibility to obey speed limits, to drive purposefully, to exercise caution and to obey all traffic laws. “

According to the Tennessee Integrated Traffic Analysis Network, in 2019, there were a total of 1,136 deaths statewide; 180 of these deaths were linked to speeding or aggressive driving behavior. Last year there were 1,217 road fatalities statewide; 190 of these deaths were linked to speeding or aggressive driving behavior.

“Motor vehicle crashes are the second leading cause of injury in patients traumatized by the Erlanger Health System,” said Medical Director of Erlanger Health System Trauma Services Robert A. Maxwell, MD. “Factors such as high speeds, not using seat belts and distracted driving all contribute to death and serious injury in all age groups. “

According to NHTSA, the consequences of speed are significant. Speeding results in an increased risk of loss of vehicle control, reduced effectiveness of occupant protective equipment, and an increased degree of crash severity resulting in more serious injuries.

“Losing a friend or loved one in a fatal traffic accident is an extremely painful and overwhelming experience that creates a void that can never be filled,” said THP Col. Matt Perry. “Please help us prevent this tragedy from devastating another family. “

According to the Georgia Department of Transportation, there were 1,702 road fatalities in Georgia last year. Of those fatalities, 285 were speed related. This reflects a 9% increase from the 260 speed-related deaths that occurred statewide in 2019.

“Families and friends have lost too many loved ones in the past year in traffic accidents,” said Allen Poole, director of GOHS. “We want this week to serve as a starting point for reversing the growing number of fatalities on our roads. Speed ​​limits are set for the safety of all on the road, and selfish drivers who choose to drive at speeds well above the posted limit are a threat not only to themselves but to everyone on the road.

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