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Police target speeding with Operation Southern Shield

In a day and age when everything is fast-paced, Alabama Law Enforcement Agency worked to put the brakes on speeding with its annual Operation Southern Shield.

For the week of July 15-21, troopers in Alabama, Georgia, Florida, South Carolina and Tennessee joined forces with local law enforcement agencies to target speeding and cut down on drivers going well above the posted limit. 

“Speed kills,” said Alabama’s Secretary of Law Enforcement Hal Taylor. “We are pleased to partner with our neighboring states and local law enforcement agencies in an effort to save lives.”

Russellville Police Department was one of the local law enforcement agencies that participated in Operation Southern Shield, and Russellville Police Chief Chris Hargett said the efforts to cut back on speeding were effective.

Hargett said he does not believe speeding is a big issue in Russellville because the Russellville Police Department uses grants to ensure officers are prevalent, but Operation Southern Shield is helpful for lots of areas.

“We have someone working traffic every day, so I don’t think it’s as big of a problem now simply because of our officer presence, but we still do have certain streets where we have issues,” Hargett said. 

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, one-third of all traffic deaths in the past two decades have involved speeding. 

Taylor said this is because speeding makes seatbelts and other safety mechanisms less effective.

Hargett said most of the issues he notices are drivers in a hurry and not giving their full attention to the road.

“Everything is fast paced now days, but still most people are preoccupied while they drive,” Hargett said. “That’s the main thing that causes accidents: people just not paying attention.”