A campaign called ‘Operation Southern Slow Down’ aimed at helping save lives and prevent reckless driving and speeding in Florida and four other southeastern states, kicked off today. The past few years have seen an increase in risk-taking and careless driving. No matter how safe of a driver you think you may be, speeding is dangerous.

The campaign, is a joint effort by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Florida Highway Patrol, Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicle Department, FDOT, and the southeastern states of Florida, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, and Tennessee. State and local law enforcement agencies in all five states will be conducting a week-long speed enforcement awareness campaign from July 17, 2023, through July 22, 2023. Operation Southern Slow Down aims to deter speeding, prevent aggressive driving, and save lives. FHP will specifically focus on detecting and citing drivers for exceeding the posted speed limits across Florida’s interstate corridors.

“When motorists make the decision to engage in dangerous speeds on our roadways, they needlessly place themselves and other road users at risk of deadly outcomes,” said Will N. Watts, Jr., P.E., FDOT Assistant Secretary for Engineering and Operations, and the Florida Governor’s Representative for Highway Safety. “FDOT remains committed to achieving its target of zero fatalities and serious injuries on our roadways, and we are proud to join transportation and law enforcement partners across the state – and our neighboring southern states— in the Operation Southern Slow Down effort. Together, we can help get everyone home safely.”

As you travel, here are some tips to stay safe on Florida’s roadways this summer:

  • Anticipate increased traffic during peak travel periods. Plan ahead and give yourself ample drive time.
  • Buckle up and make sure all passengers are buckled up the entire trip.
  • Slow down in construction zones. Keep in mind that construction increases during the summer season.
  • No matter how eager you are to reach your destination, speeding and driving aggressively is dangerous. Stay patient and give other road users plenty of space.

If you observe aggressive driving, do not engage with the other driver. Dial *FHP (*347) or 911 for local law enforcement.

Speeding fatalities have continued to increase over the past few years, rising a dramatic 17% from 2019 to 2020 and another estimated 5% from 2020 to 2021. Even advancements in vehicle safety and passenger protection cannot keep people safe from the dangers of speeding.

According to NHTSA, in 2020, there were 11,258 people killed in speeding-related traffic crashes, and speeding was a contributing factor in 29% of all fatal crashes nationally.