Area police agencies participating in Operation Southern Slow Down next week

·2 min read

Jul. 15—Law enforcement agencies across several states will be participating in Operation Southern Slow Down from July 17-23.

In separate Facebook posts, the Aiken County Sheriff's Office, North Augusta Department of Public Safety, Aiken Department of Public Safety and Burnettown Police Department all said they would be participating in the weeklong event.

Formerly known as Operation Southern Shield, the speed enforcement and education campaign returns in five Southeastern states.

During each state's enforcement period, state troopers and local law enforcement officers in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and Tennessee will conduct concentrated enforcement on interstates and state highways to stop the increase in drivers traveling at speeds well above the legal limit.

Drivers in South Carolina can expect to see an increased speed enforcement effort from the South Carolina Highway Patrol along several interstates and highways.

Sgt. Joe O'Conor, with Aiken Public Safety, said this time is the 100 deadly days of summer, which is when traffic fatalities are up nationwide. The agency has participated in this event every year it's been held.

"South Carolina is at 496 traffic fatalities already this year," O'Conor said earlier in the week. "So with the number of people driving, it's the time to show extra enforcement, even though we do it year round."

Sgt. Justin Aubuchon, with North Augusta Public Safety, said the agency has always participated in this campaign.

"The whole reason for the campaign is to help reduce traffic and get people to slow down," he said.

O'Conor also said they want drivers to be aware of their speed on the road and be careful while driving.

The goal of the campaign is to save lives by getting drivers to slow down and be less aggressive on the road.

According to the South Carolina Department of Public Safety, as of July 12, there have been 496 fatal crashes and 536 people killed.

"We know that speed and aggressive driving continue to be challenges for law enforcement throughout the country," said Robert G. Woods IV, director of the S.C. Department of Public Safety. "We have seen promising results with these efforts in intercepting dangerous and deadly driving behaviors, especially due to speed."