SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — The Governor’s Office of Highway Safety (GOHS), GOHS Highway Enforcement of Aggressive Traffic (HEAT) units, GOHS Traffic Enforcement Networks, and the Georgia State Patrol is teaming up with the Savannah Police Department (SPD) for a Thunder Task Force Traffic Enforcement operation this week.

The operation will begin on Wednesday and end early in the morning on Sunday.

Officials say that SPD requested the assistance of GOHS HEAT teams after federal crash data showed that 40% increase in traffic deaths in Chatham County from 2017 to 2021. Crash data also shows that 42 people died in traffic crashes in Chatham County in 2022 alone.

“Reckless and illegal driving endanger the safety of everyone using our roads and our office is
working with agencies around the state to protect the public by putting dangerous and reckless
drivers on the shoulder of the road or in a jail cell,” Allen Poole, Director of the Governor’s
Office of Highway Safety said. “As local law enforcement agencies work to recruit more
deputies and officers, GOHS Thunder Task Force operations allow these communities to
increase the enforcement of traffic laws with the goal of reducing crashes and saving lives.”

The Thunder Task Force Operation starts with the G.O.H.S. Law Enforcement Services Division
partnering with the Savannah Police Department and Georgia State Patrol for traffic
enforcement of speed, seat belt, hands-free, DUI, and all traffic laws in the city of Savannah
Wednesday and Thursday.

Police say to be prepared to stop and show your driver’s license in the case of a road check.

“Fatality data has shown GOHS Thunder Task Force operations help save lives in communities
around the state and we are ready to try to do the same with our partners at the Savannah
Police Department,” Roger Hayes, Director of GOHS Law Enforcement Services said. “The goal
of Thunder Task Force operations is to not arrest anyone for DUI, but that is what we will do if
that is what it takes to get people to stop making the selfish decision to drive under the
influence of alcohol, drugs, or a combination of the two.”

After the initial operation this weekend, GOHS Law Enforcement Services
Division will continue working with Savannah Police Department for enhanced traffic
enforcement operations for the next three to four months.