How Hall Sheriff's Office hopes to tackle traffic problems with $325K grant

Sep. 27—With another $325,000 available to spend on enforcement, the Hall County Sheriff's Office said a new grant will create three new positions in an attempt to reduce the number of traffic crashes.

The Sheriff's Office was awarded $324,999 in a Highway Enforcement of Aggressive Traffic grant from the Governor's Office of Highway Safety, which was announced Tuesday, Sept. 27.

The department will use it to "develop and implement strategies to reduce local traffic crashes due to aggressive and dangerous driving behaviors," according to a news release.

Sheriff's Office spokeswoman B.J. Williams said there were two officer positions paid through a similar grant that ended in September 2021, who are now part of the traffic unit.

The new grant, which becomes active on Oct. 1, will help pay for three new positions for five years, including the officers' vehicles and equipment.

"After the five years, the local jurisdiction absorbs the cost and keeps the equipment," Williams wrote in an email.

There were 1,603 more wrecks between 2020 and 2021 in Hall County, jumping from 8,026 crashes to 9,629 crashes.

"With the increase in the number of persons killed in traffic crashes in Georgia and across the nation over the last year, the Governor's Office of Highway Safety is working with partners like the Hall County Sheriff's Office to implement programs designed to stop the risky driving behaviors that are contributing to a majority of our serious injury and fatality crashes," Governor's Office of Highway Safety Director Allen Poole said in a news release. "Many of the fatal traffic crashes on our roads are preventable, and we will continue to work with our educational and enforcement partners to develop programs and initiatives that are designed to get Georgia to our goal of zero traffic deaths."