Operation Southern Shield expands to five states, including SC

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SOUTH CAROLINA (WSPA) – Operation Southern Shield starts Monday, July 19 in some southern states, including South Carolina.

State and local agencies are hoping their high visibility will keep people driving the speed limit.

For law enforcement, safety is a team effort; every driver should take responsibility for their vehicle and watch their speed. This week, law enforcement is out to send that reminder.

For Dorothy Liming, hitting the road is a necessity, but she’s also concerned about the busy roads.

“I’ve noticed an increase in the traffic and a lot of construction going on, so we have to be alert and very careful,” Greenville resident Dorothy Liming said.

This is the fifth year that South Carolina is joining other southern states like Georgia, Florida, Alabama and Tennessee in the speed enforcement campaign, called Operation Southern Shield.

“It takes about a half a second to take your foot off the accelerator to apply the break. If you’re going about 40 miles per hour or 70 miles per hour, it still takes the same amount of time, because you’re traveling faster, you’re obviously going to travel further,” South Carolina Highway Patrol Trooper Joe Hovis said.   

Officials plan to run social media ads and billboards focused on the deadly consequences of speeding for the entire month of July.

“Seatbelts are paramount anytime you get behind the wheel of a car, truck or SUV, if you’re in a collision no matter how violent you have an 88-percent of survival in a crash,” Trooper Hovis said.

Officials say 551 people have died on South Carolina roads so far in 2021, compared to 523 this time in 2020.

“There is a lot of recklessness that you see and trucks around and sometimes it’s a little dangerous, you’ve got to be aware and alert,” Liming said.

Operation Southern Shield overlaps the 100 Deadly Days of Summer – the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day – when traffic fatalities typically increase. Officials hope this extra layer of protection will keep more drivers safe.

Operation Southern Shield starts Monday and will run through Saturday, July 24.

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