Georgia State Troopers to Join Summer H.E.A.T.

Georgia State Patrol

May 20, 2005



(ATLANTA)--The Georgia State Patrol will join law enforcement officers across the state beginning Monday for the second annual "100 Days of Summer H.E.A.T.", a high visibility enforcement campaign designed to reduce traffic deaths during the summer months.  Coordinated by the Governor's Office of Highway Safety, the H.E.A.T. (Highway Enforcement of Aggressive Traffic) program targets speeders, alcohol and/or drug impaired drivers, aggressive drivers, and people not wearing seat belts or adults who do not properly restrain children.  The program continues through Labor Day.

      "The period from Memorial Day through Labor Day has often been called the 'hundred deadly days of summer' and this program is designed to change that," according to Colonel Bill Hitchens, commander of the Georgia State Patrol.  "State troopers will be fully involved in this summer-long campaign."

      The campaign begins with the first seat belt enforcement concentration of the year.  Operation Click It or Ticket runs from Monday, May 23 through Sunday, June 5.  Operation Click It or Ticket and its predecessor Operation Strap 'N Snap have been instrumental in raising Georgia's seat belt usage rate to an all-time high of 86.7 percent.  "The increase in the seat belt usage rate has definitely saved lives over the years since heavy enforcement began in 1997," Colonel Hitchens said.

      During the "100 Days of Summer H.E.A.T." troopers, police officers, and sheriffs' deputies will be conducting road checks and saturation patrols throughout the state.  "Additionally, several special concentrated patrols will be conducted targeting speeding tractor trailers and motorcyclists operating in an unsafe manner," he said.

      Colonel Hitchens said seat belts should be worn during every trip in a motor vehicle, no matter the distance.  He encouraged adults who transport children to make sure child safety seats are properly installed and children are restrained at all times in a motor vehicle.  "Children do not know they are at risk while traveling in a motor vehicle and adults must step up to the plate to make sure they are safe," he said.