Georgia’s governor plans to crack down on accidents involving commercial vehicles on I-16, I-85 and I-95 by spending $10 million to hire 60 new enforcement officers.
Gov. Nathan Deal’s proposal comes on the heels of several high-profile accidents near the Port of Savannah that led to outcry by politicians and the public and protests by some union truckers.
Deal Thursday (June 11) announced the Georgia Department of Public Safety and the Georgia Ports Authority are partnering to pay for the increased enforcement efforts.
“As Georgia’s population and its economy continue to grow, we must adapt to meet the needs of a vibrant state,” Deal said in a statement released by his office. “While an expansion of the Savannah Harbor means jobs for Georgians and a boost to our economy, it will also mean an increase in commercial vehicle traffic. The safety of our drivers and the effective transportation of goods are of critical importance. This investment is a significant step forward in meeting these goals.”
There are currently 234 commercial vehicle enforcement officers serving in 10 regions. The additional officers will patrol areas identified by the Department of Public Safety as “high crash corridors.” These areas include I-16 and I-95, as well as the Atlanta metro area, and the area south of Atlanta along I-85.
Additional safety measures have also been implemented as part of this campaign, including:
- The Georgia Targeting Aggressive Cars and Trucks Program; Operation Safe Drive on 95 — a joint operation between Georgia officers and their commercial vehicle enforcement counterparts in surrounding states
- Just Pull’em Over — an enforcement campaign involving local agencies through the traffic enforcement networks with the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety
Ongoing partnerships with the Georgia Motor Trucking Association and the Georgia Motorcoach Operators Association
- Compliance reviews and safety audits on Georgia-based carriers by MCCD officers
- Concentrated patrols to enforce speeding, distracted driving and safety belt violations and to conduct Level 3 inspections. A Level 3 inspection includes examination of the driver’s license, medical examiner’s certificate, pre-trip inspection, driver’s record of duty status, hours of service, seat belt and hazardous materials/dangerous goods requirements.
A total of 10 people died in two separate accidents within a month of each other in April and May.