JONESBORO — Clayton County police officers were out in full force last weekend, slowing down speeders to curb fatal crashes.
The final numbers seem to show a successful run. Lt. Chris Windley said Operation Interstate Blitz generated hundreds of traffic tickets in just two days.
“Based on our current statistical data, Operation Interstate Blitz produced 525 citations, 16 arrests, three of which were DUIs,” he said.
Chief Greg Porter said the blitz won’t end there.
“We want to continue the effort of slowing down speeders throughout the county,” said Porter. “This endeavor will assist the Clayton County Police Department with upholding safer streets and highways for citizens and visitors of Clayton County to drive upon.”
Windley said the Clayton blitz operated in conjunction with the Governors Office of Highway Safety’s annual 100 Days of Summer Heat crackdown on speeders and travelers not wearing seat belts.
“This operation, in part with the governor’s 100 Days of Summer Heat Operation, will assist in an effort to aggressively reduce vehicle accidents throughout Clayton County,” said Windley. “We are confronting traffic infractions such as speeding and seatbelts.”
According to the most recent statistics compiled by GOHS, there were half as many traffic fatalities in Clayton County during 2009 than in 2008. A five-year study from 2005 to 2009 showed a peak of 35 deaths in 2007 followed by 32 in 2008. However, that figure fell to 16 the next year.
The numbers of injuries and crashes have also decreased over the past few years, according to GOHS numbers. There were 11,712 crashes resulting in 4,446 injuries and 30 deaths in 2005; 11,441 crashes with 4,550 injuries and 32 deaths in 2006 and 10,395 crashes with 3,915 injuries and 35 deaths in 2007.
The number of crashes dropped by nearly a thousand to 9,378 in 2008 with 3,543 injuries and 32 deaths. The most recent numbers show just 8,793 crashes in Clayton in 2009 resulting in 3,284 injuries and 16 deaths.
The leading cause of fatal crashes during 2005-2008 was speed, followed by alcohol. That trend reversed in 2009 with alcohol causing more highway deaths than speed, according to GOHS.