TUSCALOOSA – We all know that feeling you get when you see the blue lights in your rear view mirror. But remember, that man or woman stopping you is there to help.

“We law enforcement, are not just looking for people to write tickets to,” Alabama State Trooper Reginal King told WVUA 23. “It’s all about safety.”

Safety. That’s the whole point of Operation Southern Shield.

Operation Southern Shield starts Monday July 17th and runs through the 23rd. During that time period, there will be participation from five different southern states: South Carolina, Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia and Florida. During that time, the goal is to have zero fatalities from car crashes.

How will police do this?
Well, they’re going to be cracking down on certain behaviors that cause crashes: speeding, driving while impaired, distracted driving and not wearing a seat belt.

Think about it, you probably know someone who’s been impacted by a traffic crash. WVUA 23 caught up with some motorists on the road to see what they think about Operation Southern Shield.

“This is definitely is a good situation for everyone, Jimmie Slugher told our crew as he was traveling from New Orleans. “It keeps the road a lot safer.”
“The more we can do to prevent preventable accidents, I think it’s very important. A very important initiative,” Aileen Oneill from Atlanta said.

Law Enforcement will also have more presence on roadways in an effort to lower the number of traffic crashes, which will in turn lower the number of traffic fatalities.
Senior Trooper Reginal King says this is ambitious, but it is attainable with help from the public.

“Comply with all the rules that govern the roadway because ultimately we are providing a service to the citizens of Alabama and the visitors as well,” he said.

Again Operation Southern Shield goes into affect Monday, July 17th and lasts until July 23rd.
As of July 12th, 2017 there have been 17,082 crashes in Alabama this year.
335 people have died as a result of those crashes
57 percent of those were not wearing their seat belts

While safety comes first, troopers aren’t just out there looking to write tickets. When we were doing our story, we came across a couple with a flat tire and trooper Reginal King didn’t hesitate to get his hands dirty and change the couples tire for them. With 90 degree temperatures., it was an act of kindness the couple will never forget.



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