Law enforcement patrolling I-75 Fourth of July weekend
On I-75 from Macon to the Georgia-Florida border, law enforcement agencies will be double checking their radar and hitting the roads to monitor motorists. Concentrated patrols and road checks are being utilized as a part of Operation Zero Tolerance for Fourth of July weekend.
Approximately 410 people were killed in motor vehicle crashes across the nation during Fourth of July in 2009, according to the Governor's Office of Highway Safety. They say of those accidents, 40 percent involved drivers with Blood Alcohol Content levels of .08 or higher (.08 is the limit).
"We want fewer injuries, we want fewer crashes, we want fewer fatalities," says Harris Blackwood, Director for the Governor's Office of Highway Safety.
Officers will also be checking to make sure people are buckled up.
Law enforcement also kicked off Operation I-75 Slowdown on Thursday afternoon.
"If you think there's a tolerance for speed over a certain amount of miles or 'I can go this fast and get away with it' -- think again," says Blackwood.
Police officers, state troopers and sheriff's deputies will be patrolling nearly every three miles between Macon and the state line.
"Our primary objective is that you leave in enough time to get to your destination safely without having to speed," says Berrin County Sheriff Anthony Heath.
Tift County Sheriff Gary Vowell says last year, his force made numerous impaired driver and speeding arrests.
"I have a full time traffic division that works the highways in Tift County. Those guys will be out all weekend, no days off, enforcing the law, so we'll be out here in force," says Vowell.
While Vowell says there were no fatalities in Tift County last Fourth of July, law enforcement is not taking chances this year.
"We want them (travelers) to have the opportunities to be as safe as possible and we're going to accomplish that by slowing down the speed of travel on I-75 to within the posted legal limits," says Blackwood.
The Governor's Office of Highway Safety says people driving impaired will go to jail. Learn more about Operation Zero Tolerance by visiting the website for the Governor's Office of Highway Safety.