Police officers in one town in Georgia are being proactive about keeping their roadways safer and reducing the number of auto accidents in their community, and they aren’t just giving out traffic tickets.
In Byron, GA, the Byron Police Department has set up a dedicated Specialized Traffic Enforcement Program (STEP) that is made up of uniformed officers of the Patrol Division. The mission of the unit is to reduce traffic accidents and deaths through the stringent enforcement of traffic laws and educational programs. The major goal of the unit is to curtail Driving Under the Influence (DUI) offenses and aggressive driving. Enforcement is particularly aimed at behaviors such as tailgating, speeding, and road rage behavior.
These officers make presentations throughout the year to students in middle and high schools about Teen Driving Safety and the “Newly Licensed” program. These educational and community outreach activities are required of all officers who are part of the unit. Other educational efforts include teaching the public about how to safely buckle up their children in the car by the use of car seats and proper restraints. Safety fairs are a big part of their agenda and they work together with organizations such as MADD, SADD, and Safe Kids of Georgia to make presentations.
Citizens in Byron who notice continued violation of traffic laws in a certain area can call and report to the Police Department and the STEP officers will be enrolled to form a presence in the area. If drivers continue to break the law, the officers will issue traffic citations.
The STEP officers are involved with heavy organized enforcement during the holidays in Byron. They form specialized patrols, otherwise known as task forces that operate at hours when drunk driving is at its most prevalent. They also are aggressive about checking for the use of seat belts and monitoring for speeding. During the holiday periods, the STEP officers will also team up with other officers in the jurisdiction to set up road checks on Georgia’s interstate highways and city streets.
Education and Enforcement Go Hand in Hand
While the program is diligent about enforcement, it also devotes significant time and resources toward education. The unit recognizes that education and enforcement must go hand-in-hand if they are going to be successful in reducing the number of auto accidents that cause serious injury and fatalities.
The unit investigates all car crashes that result in fatalities, responds to crashes involving serious injuries and investigates hit and run accidents as well. In the areas of traffic enforcement, the STEP officers have received extensive training. Their vehicles are equipped with all the state-of-the-art equipment for speed detection, mobile data terminals and digital recording cameras.
Punishment by Fines Alone Not Effective
Fines alone have not proven to be sufficient to curb illegal driving activity. Some drivers slow down and obey traffic laws when they are hit hard with an expensive traffic ticket, but many drivers will continue to speed and think that they will just get away with it.
When there are other consequences involved, like having to attend traffic school or having to perform community service, then this inconvenience may have as much impact or more on the conduct of certain drivers. Paying a fine is easy though it can be hard on the wallet. When a driver is punished by being forced to surrender his time, it is often inconvenient and can have a more lasting impact.
Educating the public regarding the effect of traffic violations brings home the point that they are not on the road alone and that every illegal driving practice can have a serious, even tragic impact on others on Georgia roadways. Accidents are usually a result of another driver’s negligence including running traffic lights, speeding, distracted driving (such as texting and using the cell phone) and aggressive acts of road rage. Hopefully, this program of increased enforcement, education and penalties will help reduce the number of needless auto accident-related injuries and fatalities on Georgia roadways.
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a traffic accident or if you have experienced the wrongful death of a loved one, then call our office today to find out how we might be able to help you. If you are involved in a car accident in Atlanta or elsewhere throughout the state of Georgia, even if there is not significant vehicle damage or obvious serious injuries, we urge you to contact the Georgia auto accident attorneys at Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law. Since 1984 we have seen the tragic impact when victims come to us after settling with an insurance company only to realize they have serious injuries that were not apparent at the time of settlement. We also have seen the negative consequences of speaking to an insurance company adjuster and waiting too long to contact us. We work hard for our clients and are committed to providing exceptional service as part of our goal of being the best auto accident claims attorneys in Georgia.
Our auto accident claims attorneys are available to assist clients throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast.