Law enforcement turns up the heat on traffic and boating law violators

Habersham County Sheriff Joey Terrell spoke at a press conference in Alto on May 12 in the buildup to the state's two summertime safety campaigns. He's flanked by deputies and personnel from the Habersham County Emergency Services, Georgia State Patrol, Georgia DNR, and Motor Carrier Compliance Division. (Rob Moore/Habersham County)

Law enforcement agencies across Georgia are participating in two statewide safety campaigns. “Click it or Ticket” and “100 days of Summer HEAT” kicked off Monday. They’re aimed at getting drivers to buckle up and slow down heading into the busy summer travel months.

The Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Law Enforcement Division is also participating, promoting safety on the state’s waterways.

In the buildup to the kickoff, the Habersham County Sheriff’s Office hosted a press conference with multiple agencies Friday.

Representatives from DNR and the Georgia Department of Public Safety Motor Carrier Compliance Division joined Sheriff Joey Terrell at the South Precinct in Alto overlooking Highway 365. It was an appropriate setting, given the high traffic volume.

According to officials, more than 180,000 vehicles travel through Habersham County every day. And that traffic is becoming increasingly dangerous.

Habersham County has seen a 69% increase in traffic fatalities over the past three years, with more than half involving DUI, according to county statistics. Last year, 13 people died on Habersham’s roadways.

Last year, the sheriff’s office issued 5,303 tickets and 1,135 warnings. Also, last year, law enforcement arrested 450 DUI offenders countywide. Habersham County deputies made 345 of those arrests.

State Rep. Victor Anderson, far right, also attended the press conference. State Sen. Bo Hatchett was unable to attend due to a prior commitment. (Rob Moore/Habersham County)

Other notable facts:

  • Speed is the most often cited traffic violation.
  • The highest recorded speed last year was 164 mph.
  • In 2021, 1,786 people died on Georgia roadways, a 20% increase over the previous five years.
  • 56% of fatal crash victims were not wearing seatbelts.

Speakers at Friday’s press conference stood surrounded by activated emergency lights on units from the Georgia State Patrol, MCC, DNR, sheriff’s office, and Habersham County Emergency Services.


Driver beware: Traffic enforcement heats up for summer


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