100 days of Summer HEAT or, Highway Enforcement of Aggressive Traffic, began on May 21 but area law enforcement gathered this morning to kick off the state-wide crusade.
"Today, the state of Georgia is joining states all across the country in a nationwide effort called, 'Click it or Ticket,'" Director of the Governor's Office of Highway Safety Harris Blackwood said. "Its the first part of our 100-day effort that continues through Labor day as we try to make the roads of the state of Georgia as safe as possible for all motorists."
159 Georgia counties are rolling out waves of enforcement patrols for season 9 of Summer HEAT.
For the next 99 days, officers are looking for any and all unsafe behavior, from texting behind the wheel to drunk drivers and aggressive speeders.
This effort hopes to reduce fatal crash counts during Georgia's deadly holiday driving period from Memorial Day to Labor Day.
One major way to reduce fatal crashes is by wearing a seat belt which is why the annual Click it or Ticket campaign coincides with the launch of the Summer HEAT program.
"We are here today to send a message that seatbelts save lives," Centerville Police Chief Sidney Andrews said. In 2010, Georgia had 423 traffic fatalities as a result of not using a seatbelt. Please help law enforcement and support this Click it or Ticket initiative by taking a few extra seconds to buckle up."
This year's Summer HEAT program runs until September 3. While patrols will decrease after that date, authorities are hoping that motorists continue to use that extra amount of caution long after.