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Clayton Police awarded highway safety grant

From Staff Reports

The Clayton County Police Department has been awarded a Highway Enforcement of Aggressive Traffic (HEAT) grant totaling $87,760 from the Governor's Office of Highway Safety (GOHS), the department announced recently.

The primary goals of the HEAT program are to reduce impaired-driving crashes, reduce speeding, increase seat belt use and educate the public about traffic safety.

"This HEAT grant expresses our thanks for joining the GOHS enforcement team and for the dedication and support of the Clayton County Police Department for their efforts to protect Georgians from speeders and impaired drivers," GOHS Director Bob Dallas said in a statement released by the police department. "Impaired driving related crashes killed 416 persons in Georgia in 2008. The chance of a crash being fatal here was almost six times higher for crashes related to alcohol or drugs than crashes not related to driver impairment."

The 2009/2010 GOHS HEAT grants total just over $3 million and will fund 21 specialized traffic enforcement units in high-risk locations across the state, according to the police department's statement. The HEAT initiative was designed for Georgia jurisdictions with the highest rates of crashes, injuries and deaths.

"In Georgia, more than one out of five crash deaths involve unsafe or illegal speed," said Dallas. "The majority of the drivers in speed-related crashes are male and the chance of a crash being fatal is over three times higher in crashes related to speed."

As part of the Operation Zero Tolerance campaign and the Click-It-Or-Ticket program, the Clayton County Police Department HEAT team will coordinate with Governor's Office of Highway Safety during year-round waves of patrols, road checks and sobriety checkpoints, the department said.

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On the net:

Governor's Office of Highway Safety: www.gahighwaysafety.org