Law enforcement crossing borders to catch criminals

By Laura Ann Sills - bioemail

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Last year, 19 Georgians lost their life in crash deaths during the Labor Day holiday. Officials say that every one of those was preventable.

Monday was the kick off for the 19th annual "Hands Across the Border" campaign.

Alabama State Trooper Charles Dysart said they are looking for, "Someone that is changing lanes without putting on their blinker, someone that is driving reckless, people that are following too closely, and people that are tailgating or speeding."

And, that is just the beginning of the list.

Officials from 7 states are working together to crack down on drivers making poor decisions.

Sunday night a joint effort caught several drunk drivers, seat belt violations and a stolen car.  One shocking statistic from that operation was the number of parents allowing their children to ride without the proper restraint – 21 within a two hour period.  Lt. Mark D. Starling said, "If you look at the time involved in the campaign, yes, that is a very high number."   Bob Dallas, Director of the Georgia Governor's Office of Highway Safety, urged parents to buckle up the kids, "Make sure they are in their car seats because while you may be a great driver, there are bad drivers out there making poor decisions."

The Hands Across the Border enforcement is a team effort.  Georgia, Alabama, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina and Tennessee officials are joining in to enforce several campaigns, including "Over the Limit, Under Arrest" and "Operation Zero Tolerance."

Dallas told News Leader Nine that the data from this year shows that most Georgians are making the right decisions.  "Georgia traditionally lost 1,600 people a year to crash deaths.  We have the potential this year to be less than 1000.  Think about it, that is 600 less families that will get the news they lost a loved one."

Driving through Alabama you can call *HP (*47) to report a reckless driver or crash.  In Georgia the number is *GSP (*477).

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