News release for immediate release



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NEWS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


29 JULY, 2005

For more information:


Jim Shuler, GOHS Public Affairs

404-656-6996 or 888-420-0767



OPERATION: FAST & FURIOUS!

ATLANTA - SAVANNAH SPEED ENFORCEMENT NETS

500+VIOLATORS IN TWO-CITY CRACKDOWNS
(ATLANTA) Today the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety announced the results of Georgia’s first coordinated two-city motorcycle speed crack-down on highways around Metro Atlanta and the City of Savannah. Director Bob Dallas of the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety said, “This is the first time Georgia police agencies have conducted simultaneous motorcycle speed enforcement mobilizations at opposite ends of the state. Operation Fast & Furious is designed to stop reckless motorcycle operators, but in the process of patrolling for high-risk motorcycling, law enforcement officers have helped make our highways safer by cracking down on illegal speeders and aggressive drivers in all types of vehicles.”
During the Sunday enforcement operation, officers in Atlanta and Savannah wrote 201 speeding tickets and 17 DUI’s, made two drug arrests, and two more for reckless driving. Police apprehended six fugitives and recovered one stolen vehicle while patrolling for speeding motorcycles. They also wrote ninety tag and license tickets for violators driving with suspended or revoked licenses or without proper tags. That, plus 216 other traffic violations made for a total of 545 traffic stops during the eight-hour mobilization. GOHS Director Dallas called the joint effort a model for successful traffic enforcement.
Operation Fast & Furious is a continuing enforcement element of the 100 Days of Summer HEAT speed and aggressive driving campaign,” said Dallas. “This was the third time this summer that law enforcement agencies in the Atlanta Metro Area have turned-up the HEAT to target motorcycle drivers who act out their high-speed bad-driving habits on our city streets.”
Two previous HEAT crackdowns targeting motorcycle speed in the Atlanta Metro Area yielded similar high profile police results this summer. Coordinated enforcement efforts for a May 22nd motorcycle round-up totaled 235 citations. Seventy-seven of those were speeding tickets. A June 19th follow-up on Father’s Day totaled 452 citations. During that operation 341 of the tickets were for speeding.
“If it runs on wheels and it speeds illegally, we’re encouraging Georgia law enforcement to pull it over and write tickets this Summer,” said GOHS Director Dallas. “One of our goals is to modify bad driving behaviors for anyone who thinks police won’t write them up unless they’re doing speeds of eighty or better.”
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“We have reports from both law enforcement and the motoring public that these high performance motorcycles are hitting speeds of 120mph or higher on our interstates and inner city corridors,” said Dallas. “We’ll continue to crackdown on this high-risk driving with high-profile police enforcement efforts like Operation Fast & Furious.


The Atlanta motorcycle HEAT crackdown ran concentrated patrols on Old National Highway and parts of Interstate 20 and 285. Operation Fast and Furious deployed law enforcement officers from the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office, Georgia State Patrol, Department of Motor Carrier Compliance, Police from Atlanta, Hapeville, College Park, East Point, and Clayton, Cobb and Fulton Counties. Police patrols ran with aviation, and communications support from Atlanta Police, Georgia State Patrol, Georgia Bureau of Investigation and the FBI.
“Unsafe and illegal speed in this state rank among the top three causes of deadly crashes in Georgia,” said Director Dallas. “These tough motorcycle speed enforcement measures are designed to prevent those crashes and save lives. Motorcycle speed counter-measures like these in Atlanta will soon be deployed in other areas across Georgia the way they were conducted by law enforcement agencies in Atlanta and Savannah as part of Operation Fast & Furious.”

Police, sheriff’s deputies and State Patrol in Savannah ran concentrated patrols on I-95 and I-16, on GA Hwy 201 and GA Hwy 21, and on the US 80 Islands Expressway to Tybee Island. Operation Fast & Furious ran from 4 until 9PM across Chatham, Bryan, and Effingham counties with aviation support from Savannah-Chatham Metro PD and Georgia State Patrol. Concentrated patrols were coordinated by Pooler and Port Wentworth Police, Bryan and Effingham County Sheriff’s Departments and Georgia State Troopers.


“The tragic data from the National Traffic Highway Safety Administration shows that motorcycle operators are 25 times more likely to die in a traffic crash than other passenger vehicle occupants,” said GOHS Director Dallas. “Our objective is to reduce those odds by reducing the risky driving behavior we see every day on every highway where we see motorcycles- - Behavior like speeding, racing, illegal lane-changing and running red lights. We’re excited to be saving lives one ticket at a time here in Atlanta and in a simultaneous Sunday crackdown in Savannah.”
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DID YOU KNOW.. Thirty-percent of all motorcyclists involved in fatal crashes were speeding.. One out of four motorcycle operators involved in fatal crashes was driving with an invalid license.. Motorcycle riders are four times more likely to be intoxicated when killed in traffic crashes at night.. Motorcyclists in fatal crashes have higher intoxication rates than any other type of driver.. (Data Source: NHTSA 2002) Visit us on the web at www.gahighwaysafety.org


Governor’s Office of Highway Safety

34 Peachtree Street—Suite 1600—One Park Tower—Atlanta, Georgia 30303

Visit us on the web at www.georgiahighwaysafety.org

Sonny Perdue, Governor Robert F. Dallas, Director



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