Stock Photo - SC Highway Patrol (copy)

South Carolina Department of Public Safety announced that it will join five Southeastern states in the third annual Operation Southern Shield. The operation's goal is to increase enforcement efforts to reduce speed-related deaths and collisions on roadways. 

Law enforcement agencies in five Southeastern states will crack down on speeding this week in a yearly effort to reduce speed-related deaths and collisions on roadways.

Agencies in South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Florida and Tennessee will take part in the third annual Operation Southern Shield, targeting speeders on roadways Monday through Friday.

Since its development in 2017, Operation Southern Shield has focused on the heavy summer travel period when the rate of fatal and injury crashes within the Southeastern United States is higher than any other time of the year. 

During the operation’s 2018 week, there were seven speed-related deaths on South Carolina roads and 10 during a comparable week in 2016, according to a South Carolina Department of Public Safety press release. 

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that speeding killed 9,717 people nationally, accounting for more than a quarter of all traffic fatalities in 2017. 

In 2018, there were 44,810 speed-related collisions on South Carolina roadways, according to a press release by the South Carolina Department of Public Safety. More than 36 percent of all fatal road collisions in South Carolina were speed related.

A total of 6,367 speeding citations were issued by state and local law enforcement agencies in July 2018. 

In addition to the operation, South Carolina Highway Patrol, Georgia State Patrol and local law enforcement will join at a press event Thursday to focus on educating the public about the effort to reduce speed related deaths and collisions. 

Speakers will include: 

  • SCDPS Office of Highway Safety and Justice Programs Special Programs Manager Capt. Russell Wilson.

  • SCHP Cpl. Judd Jones.

  • Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety Director Allen Poole.

  • GSP Lt. Maurice Raines.

  • NHTSA Regional Program Administrator Sandy Richardson.

The event will take place Thursday at the Georgia I-20 Welcome Center in Augusta at 11 a.m.

Matthew Enfinger is a general assignment reporter with The Aiken Standard. Follow him on Twitter: @matt_enfinger