Click It or Ticket, H.E.A.T. campaigns start

Summer 2012 marks the ninth consecutive season The 100 Days of Summer H.E.A.T. (Highway Enforcement of Aggressive Traffic) campaign. It is a multi-jurisdictional highway safety enforcement strategy designed to reduce fatal crash counts during Georgia’s deadly holiday driving period from Memorial Day, through Labor Day.

The 100 Days of Summer H.E.A.T campaign has been in Georgia since 2004. It begins on May 21, and coincides with the annual May kickoff of the Click It or Ticket safety belt initiative.

Henry County Police Chief Keith Nichols said “Click It or Ticket” seatbelt safety checkpoints have proven to be very beneficial in keeping the roads in Henry County safe.

“During this citizen encounter, we also take the opportunity to educate everyone in regard to Georgia’s seatbelt laws,” said Nichols. “We appreciate the public’s patience during these safety checks, and hope they are buckled up. Through these safety checks, we have been able to remove many violators, and unsafe drivers, from our roads. I applaud this effort by our officers in their quest to keep violators off our streets.”

This year’s 100 Days of Summer H.E.A.T. campaign runs through Sept. 3. Click It or Ticket continues until June 3.

Henry police along with other law enforcement agencies are rolling out waves of enforcement patrols across 159 Georgia counties to crack down on dangerous, aggressive, and high-speed drivers. This combination means police officers, sheriff’s deputies and state troopers will be working together to get some of Georgia’s most dangerous offenders off the road, according to the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety Public Information Officer Katie Fallon.

“Our partners in law enforcement will be launching the 100 Days of Summer H.E.A.T. campaign in all corners of the state this year,” said director Harris Blackwood of the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety. “They will be looking for all kinds of unsafe motorists … from drunk drivers and aggressive speeders to distracted drivers who continue to text while behind the wheel.”

Across Georgia in 2010, there were 217 speed-related fatalities. Among drivers age 21 and older in all 2010 fatal crashes, those who were not speeding were twice as likely to be wearing seatbelts as those who were speeding at the time of their crash. In fact, national research shows Georgia drivers among the highest illegal speeders in the country, according to Fallon.

“Throughout the year, speed, drunk-driving and unbuckled motorists and passengers are the top three causes of fatal crashes in Georgia,” continued Blackwood.

For more information on either lifesaving campaign, visit www.gahighwaysafety.org.