HENDRY COUNTY- Hendry County Sheriff's Office (HCSO) Patrol Units will be active participants in a joint-effort to keep roads safe and curb speeding. The week of July 19-24, 2021 has been dubbed, “Operation Southern Shield”
The HCSO asks drivers to, “Slow down. Put your devices down. Obey the rules of the road. Drive safely.”
Operation Southern Shield is a joint effort of the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), in collaboration with the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) and its division of the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP), the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the southeastern states of Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, and Tennessee.
State and local law enforcement agencies in all five states will be conducting a week-long speed enforcement campaign, and FHP will be specifically focused on detecting and citing drivers for exceeding the posted speed limits across Florida’s interstate corridors.
“Nationwide, there is a dangerous trend in fatalities and crashes caused by excessive speed, and, though it may seem harmless, the choice to speed is a deadly one,” said FDOT Secretary Kevin J. Thibault, P.E. “FDOT remains committed to the goal of zero fatalities on Florida’s roadways and we are proud to join ‘Operation Southern Shield’ as well as support our law enforcement partners in this life-saving effort.”
According to NHTSA, in 2019, speeding killed more than 9,000 people nationwide, with nearly 47% of speeding drivers in these fatal crashes failing to wear a seat belt. One of the primary reasons that speed-related crashes have such detrimental effects is that the increased velocity and force of impact works against the usefulness of safety equipment, such as seat belts and air bags. Speeding and driving aggressively translate to less vehicle control, increased stopping distances, and greater risk to others on or near the roadway.
Preliminary 2020 data from FLHSMV shows traffic fatalities increased by 4.67% from 2019 to 2020, despite a 15.31% decrease in total crashes statewide. In 2020, speeding was a contributing factor in approximately 12% of traffic crash fatalities statewide, resulting in nearly 400 fatalities.
“Speeding endangers not only the life of the speeder, but all road users around them, including law enforcement officers and other public safety workers,” said Colonel Gene S. Spaulding, Director of the Florida Highway Patrol. “The Florida Highway Patrol is pleased to partner with our neighboring states and local law enforcement agencies in our continued effort to make Florida’s roadways safer for all.”
As you travel, here are some tips to stay safe on Florida’s roadways this summer:
Hendry County Sheriff’s Office has joined agencies across Florida, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, and Tennessee to crack down on drivers putting themselves and others at risk by not following the speed limit.
“We don't want to write you a ticket, but we will,” HCSO explained.