On September 26, the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety (GOHS) announced the start of the “Rolling Thunder Taskforce” traffic safety operation.
In its first weekend of operation, the taskforce made 103 DUI arrests. All together, the taskforce issued over 450 traffic citations during the two day period. The specialized enforcement effort also resulted in 15 drug arrests, six felony arrests and the apprehension of 11 fugitives.
The taskforce, comprised of Barrow and Oconee County Sheriff’s deputies and local law enforcement agencies, along with Georgia State Troopers and a specially-qualified contingent of GOHS H.E.A.T. units will be conducting a three month enforcement effort targeting drunk drivers, illegal speeders and unbelted motorists within Barrow and Oconee counties.
The GOHS taskforce is a specialized traffic enforcement unit designed to help Georgia communities combat abnormally high occurrences of traffic crashes, injuries and fatalities. Its mission is to help reduce those highway deaths and serious injuries by changing the illegal driving behaviors of motorists through an increased law enforcement presence in those high crash corridors.
Barrow County has a fatality rate higher than that of other similarly sized counties and a higher than average proportion of speed-related crashes. Barrow has already recorded 17 fatalities in the first eight months of 2008. Oconee County also has a higher than average proportion of speed-related crashes and its recent three year fatality rate numbers were higher than the overall state fatality rate.
Statistically, stretches of heavily traveled state highways and rural roads in Barrow and Oconee Counties meet the Thunder taskforce definition for ‘high crash corridor’, prompting law enforcement authorities in the region to ask the Governor's Office of Highway Safety to plan for Taskforce enforcement support there this fall.