MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga. — The Governor's Office of Highway Safety has law enforcement agencies kicking up the H.E.A.T. this summer. Agencies around the state will increase their visibility during the summer months to combat traffic deaths and injuries.
Lieutenant James Thompson of the Milledgeville Police Department says roadways are at their most dangerous during the summertime.
"People are on vacation, more people are out of school, out of work. There's a lot more younger people on the road who are less experienced drivers," Thompson said.
May 13th kicked off the "100 Days of Summer H.E.A.T.," short for "Highway Enforcement of Aggressive Traffic." Agencies will make themselves more visible in problem traffic areas in their jurisdictions. Each month will have a one-week warning period where cops won't dole out tickets for traffic violations. After that, tickets will be given out, but Thompson said they want to emphasize education before punishment.
"During the warning period, we'll let them know that it is a warning period and they're just getting a warning. Then, we'll hand them some information based on the violation that they've done," Thompson said.
During warning periods, Milledgeville Police will hand out pamphlets with information at intersections like North Elbert Street and East Montgomery Street. They hope to encourage voluntary compliance, meaning drivers drive more safely after seeing someone else pulled over.
Thompson said they'll target violations like speeding, distracted and aggressive driving and seat belt violations. He also said it's not about tickets, but about saving lives.
"Drive safely because there's other people out there and you could hurt somebody else," Thompson said.
The Milledgeville warning periods are as follows:
- May 13th - May 19th, enforcement targeted to South Elbert Street.
- June 1st - June 7th, enforcement targeted to Highway 22 West.
- July 1st - July 7th, enforcement targeted to North Columbia Street.
- August 1st - August 7th, enforcement targeted to Highway 49 beginning at the bypass.
- September 1st, enforcement targeted citywide.