Operation Thunder to crack down on dangerous drivers - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Operation Thunder to crack down on dangerous drivers

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Law enforcement agencies from all over the state are teaming up with the Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police Dept. to crack down on dangerous drivers.

It's all part of the Governor's Office of Highway Safety's program call Operation Thunder. The task force goes to cities experiencing a spike in fatal crashes. The last time Operation Thunder came to Savannah was seven years ago.

Police will be focusing on pedestrian traffic at Oglethorpe Avenue and Jefferson on Friday night.

Since 2012, there have been 65 fatal crashes in Chatham County, and the goal is to keep the number from growing.

Over the next 90 days, there will be more than 30 officers from agencies across Georgia joining the SCMPD, creating checkpoints throughout the area looking for impaired drivers, speeders and even distracted drivers.

The will also be making sure drivers yield to pedestrians and bicyclists in the downtown area. Police said the fatality numbers from 2012 to 2013 more than doubled, and police believe speed and driving under the influence are to blame.

"When they were here seven years ago, they made a dramatic difference in the number of fatalities back then, and so we wanted that same outcome to occur for us, for the beginning of this year, going into the end of this year," said SCMPD Chief Julie Tolbert.

Out of all the fatal crashes in the last two years, more than 15 percent involved pedestrians. Chief Tolbert said that's one of the areas they are targeting.

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