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State Patrol troopers taking part in multi-state effort
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State traffic enforcement officers in Georgia are working with their counterparts in four other southeastern states this week for a traffic safety campaign that targets traffic violations most commonly identified as contributing factors in fatal traffic crashes.

The program, “Take Back Our Highways,” is an initiative that began with the Alabama Department of Public Safety and this year includes state law enforcement officers in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi and Tennessee. The week-long campaign ends Friday.

Col. Bill Hitchens, Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Safety, said troopers and MCCD officers are concentrating on speeding violations, impaired driving and motorists not wearing safety belts or properly restraining children.  

“Additionally, patrols are targeting driving behaviors that cause crashes and contribute to crash severity,” he said.  “These include failing to yield the right of way and following too closely.”  

He noted MCCD officers will be conducting commercial motor vehicle inspections throughout the state during the week as well.

This is the first year that all of the states bordering Alabama will be participating in the campaign. Col. J. Christopher Murphy, Alabama Public Safety Director, said the program will concentrate on driving safety.  

“We believe motorists will benefit from the consistent emphasis on safety that they’ll encounter as they travel from one jurisdiction to another,” he said.  “Motorists endanger themselves and others when they choose to disobey traffic laws.”

Troopers remind motorists to obey the posted speed limits and be aware of reduced speeds in construction zones; buckle up and make sure children are properly restrained at all times; pass safely; keep a safe distance from other vehicles; obey all other traffic laws; and demonstrate patience and courtesy while driving.  

Motor Carrier Compliance officers in Georgia will also be watching for unsafe commercial motor vehicles traveling the state’s roads and also emphasizing the “Leave More Space” message of the Georgia Targeting Aggressive Cars and Trucks (G-TACT) Program.

G-TACT reminds drivers to leave more space before merging in front of a semi-truck and not tailgate the big trucks to prevent collisions.

The five-state effort comes as the summer travel season moves into its final stages and schools begin preparing to return to session.