Hands Across the Border kicks off in Columbus - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Hands Across the Border kicks off in Columbus

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COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -

The 22nd Annual ‘Hands Across the Border' Campaign started on August 25, 2013 in Columbus, Ga. It encourages drivers to practice safe driving habits to avoid accidents and injuries.

Hundreds of law enforcement agencies and officers are in Columbus from Georgia's neighboring states like, Florida, Alabama, South Carolina and Tennessee. Police, sheriff's deputies and authorities will meet their counterparts in communities of the neighboring states to conduct road checks.

The law enforcers often catch not only drunk drivers, but fugitives, drug offenders as well as unlicensed drivers. West Central Traffic Enforcement Network checked each car that drove onto the 13th Bridge, Oglethorpe Bridge and Dillingham Street Bridge.

Many drivers called News Leader Nine and asked about the multiple police cars present in these areas, but Hands Across The Borders was trying to check each driver to ensure safety.

"Hands Across the Border is similar to the campaigns that Georgia Law enforcement enforced before," explained, Mark Starling, the Deputy Sheriff at Harris County Sheriff's Office. "Click it or Ticket, Operation Zero Tolerance, Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over… Hands Across the Border is one of the major events endorsed. We have a meeting with other law enforcers from our sister states to talk about methods and ways that we can use to enforce highway safety."

Captain Roger Hayes from Southwest Law Enforcement Liaison for the Governor's Office of Highway Safety explained that driving under the influence was no longer the most dangerous driving habit people practiced anymore. Texting while driving was the most popular reason why drivers get into accidents nowadays.

"It only takes two seconds to look down at your phone," Captain Hayes explained. "When you look up, you'll hit someone or be right upon somebody. People need to pay attention to your way and surroundings. Messages can wait until you have safely arrived at your destination."

Hands Across the Border meetings took place at Columbus State University's Corn Visuals Center at Front Avenue.  The first day of campaign took place in Columbus, but it will continue to visit other cities for the next six days until they reach Savannah, Ga. on Friday.

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