Rolling Thunder makes some noise in Chatham County

The roll out of a high visibility traffic safety campaign leads to hundreds of citations

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – Rolling Thunder is being hailed a success in it’s first weekend on the roads in and around the Hostess City. The first three days of Operation Rolling Thunder resulted in hundreds of citations and warnings for traffic offenses. “We want the public to see we’re serious about our mission to reduce fatalities and serious injuries from crashes,” Chief Joseph Lumpkin said. “We hope as the operation continues we’ll see less arrests or citations and more voluntary compliance.”

Operation Rolling Thunder, a high visibility traffic enforcement campaign sponsored by the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, officially kicked off Friday with the main goal of reducing fatalities, injuries and dangerous driving activity. It’s the third time the operation has been conducted in Savannah since 2007.
In the first three days, Metro officers with assistance from the Georgia State Patrol and HEAT units throughout the state conducted 12 road checks looking for violations including driving under the influence, incorrect seat belt or child safety seat usage as well as driving uninsured or without a license. Officers also made traffic stops for speeding, distracted and reckless driving offenses.

At the end of the weekend, more than 900 citations and 400 warnings were issued. Speeding topped the list of offenses with 249 citations and 80 warnings. Seat belt citations followed closely behind with 223 citations and 46 warnings. There were also 41 citations issued for driving under the influence. The operation led to seven fugitive arrests, six felony arrests, 14 drug arrests and 20 arrests for other offenses.

“We are very happy that we were able to save lives by taking so many impaired drivers off the road this past weekend and remind drivers our ‘Rolling Thunder’ operation will continue in the Savannah-Chatham County area,” said Harris Blackwood, director of the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety. “Our office would like to thank our highway safety partners at the Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police Department, our HEAT teams from across the state and the Georgia State Patrol for the great work they did and will continue to do to make the streets in this community safe for people to drive, bike and walk.” The operation will continue through the summer. Chief Lumpkin urges public cooperation, “Help us and if you’re not going to help us, then you’re gonna end up in the rear of one of those patrol cars…and in the Chatham County Jail.” Lumpkin said.

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