Drive slower or get pulled over: ‘Operation Southern Slowdown’ is now in effect for 5 southern states
On Monday, July 17, 2023, you may have started to notice more police patrolling Sunshine State highways; that may be a result of a new operation now in effect to crack down on speeding problems across 5 southern states — a collaboration between the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) and its division of the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP), as well as the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT).
The week-long operation has been dubbed “Operation Southern Slow Down,” a joint effort with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the southeastern states of Florida, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, and Tennessee. The campaign will have FHP, and the other states' highway agencies on high alert for detecting and citing drivers exceeding posted speed limits across statewide interstates, a release from FLHSMV states.
“The Florida Highway Patrol will be working with our many dedicated law enforcement partners toward providing highway safety,” said Colonel Gary L. Howze, Director of the Florida Highway Patrol. “Your FHP Troopers will be on patrol monitoring traffic for hazardous drivers and enforcing traffic laws along Florida’s state highways in support of Operations Southern Slowdown.”
According to preliminary data from the FLHSMV, more than 13,296 crashes in 2022 in Florida involved speeding or subjects driving too fast for current weather conditions. Data also shows that speeding contributed to 10.5% of statewide crash fatalities, resulting in more than 368 deaths.
"When motorists make the decision to engage in dangerous speeds on our roadways, they needlessly place themselves and other road users at risk of deadly outcomes,” said Will N. Watts, Jr., P.E., FDOT Assistant Secretary for Engineering and Operations, and the Florida Governor’s Representative for Highway Safety.
“FDOT remains committed to achieving its target of zero fatalities and serious injuries on our roadways, and we are proud to join transportation and law enforcement partners across the state – and our neighboring southern states— in the Operation Southern Slow Down effort. Together, we can help get everyone home safely.”
As you travel during Operation Southern Slowdown, FLHSMV has listed the following tips to help drivers stay safe on Florida’s roadways this summer:
FLHSMV recommends those who observe aggressive driving to not engage with the other driver, and instead Dial *FHP (*347) or 911 for assistance from local law enforcement.
Article by Rachael Volpe