SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - The 26th annual "Hands Across the Border" operation began Monday.
State and local police from Georgia, Alabama, Florida, South Carolina and Tennessee will set up joint road checks in each state. The operation is working to take drunk and drugged drivers off the roadways.
They say the operation is especially important this year.
"It is a really, really important year. We have had a high number of fatalities. Not quite as high as last year, but what happens this summer season is going to determine our numbers for the rest of the year," said Governor's Office of Highway Safety Director Harris Blackwood.
Traffic deaths in Georgia are on the rise over the past two years. Nearly 1,500 people were killed in traffic accidents in 2015. A 20 percent increase from the year before.