Wednesday, July 9, 2014

'Operation Thunder' cites over 1700 citizens

Posted By on Wed, Jul 9, 2014 at 3:40 PM

Operation Thunder, a controversial joint operation between the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety and Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police begun nine weeks ago, "has produced 1,767 traffic citations and 44 other arrests so far," says a spokesman.

The numbers were released Monday by the GOHS "as the operation moved into its second stage in the Savannah area," the spokesman says.

So far, Operation Thunder issued 256 citations for seat belt violations, 187 for child seat violations, 630 for speeding, one reckless driving, 27 for driving without insurance, 78 for suspended licenses, 510 for “other violations.”

Perhaps interestingly, there were only 76 DUI arrests.

The operation, invited to the Metro area by Police Chief Julie Tolbert at the suggestion of GOHS Director Harris Blackwood, "focuses on areas where fatal accidents had occurred and targets aggressive drivers and those drinking and driving."

It has also garnered scrutiny for its implied threat of forced blood withdrawals for DUI suspects under the so-called "No Refusal" option.

"The Savannah Thunder operation has proven successful thus far,” said Director Blackwood. “The cooperation of the Metro Police, the Georgia State Patrol and our law enforcement partners from around the state is the key to this success."

Metro Police Chief Julie Tolbert said "We are noticing fewer impaired drivers and many more designated drivers and we have been able to take dangerous subjects off our streets."

While traffic concerns were the primary focus of the operation, officers also addressed other criminal activities, conducting 25 drug arrests and 19 felony arrests, apprehended seven fugitives and recovered two stolen vehicles while conducting 30 road checks.

Some more numbers:

Seat Belt Citations: 256

Child Seat Citations 187

Speeding Citations 630

Reckless Driving Citations 1

Uninsured Citations 27

Suspended License Citations 78

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