Georgia State Patrol officials are starting early on new goals for 2014, including increased efforts on speed reduction, ensuring proper use of safety restraints and enforcing driving under the influence law which includes prescription medicine.

“Traditionally during the holiday season we target motorists on the travel days before and after the holidays, as most people are usually with their families on Thanksgiving day and Christmas,” said Cpl. Jeremiah Slayton, assistant post commander for Post 46 south of Monroe, which covers Walton, Rockdale and Newton counties. “But we are going to work harder on ensuring those efforts do not drop throughout the year.”

Perhaps a change most likely to be felt by local motorists is a stricter enforcement of the limit part of speed limit. As part of the goals for 2013-2014 are stopping all speeders — from those going 1 mph over to those exceeding the limit by 15 mph or more.

“The speed limit is in and of itself just that - a limit,” Slayton said. “We are lowering our threshold to not just go after the so-called big fish but to go after all of those who are breaking the law when they exceed the speed limit.”

GSP officials statewide will also be bringing DUI efforts back to the forefront in an effort to ensure the state’s drivers are aware that driving under the influence is not limited to alcohol or illegal drugs but also those prescribed by doctors. Some prescription medicines can impair a person’s ability to drive but there is also the potential for negative consequences when someone exceeds the prescribed amount.

Enforcement efforts will also increase as related to child safety restraints, which includes all children under the age of 8 to either be in the appropriate child safety seat or a booster seat. Anyone unsure of the proper seat for their child can visit www.ga highwaysafety.org/campaigns/child-passenger-safety/ for more information. 

“We also want to let the public know we are not just out there for enforcement,” Slayton said. “Our efforts include all facets of public safety and we are big on assisting motorists. We are there to help, whatever it takes, because the longer a person is on the side of a road, the more vulnerable they become.”

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