SAVANNAH, GA (July 8, 2014): Operation Thunder, the 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.

The numbers were released Monday by the GOHS as the operation moved into its second stage in the Savannah area. At times it has consisted of as many as 100 officers from Metro, State and partnering law enforcement agencies from other Georgia communities.

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.

“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 echoed his comments:

“Operation Thunder exemplified the coordinated efforts of many law enforcement agencies we work with to help make this community safer,” she said. “It has had a tremendous effect. We are noticing fewer impaired drivers and many more designated drivers and we have been able to take dangerous subjects off our streets.

“Our thanks go out to the director and the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, the Georgia State Patrol, various law enforcement agencies from across the state who are participating in this endeavor, and the Metro Patrol and Traffic officers who have put in long hours and sacrificed off days, weekends and holidays to protect our public.”

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.

So far, Operation Thunder has issued 256 citations for seat belt violations, 187 for child seat violations, 630 for speeding, one reckless driving, 27 for driving without insurance, 76 for DUI, 78 for suspended licenses and 510 for “other violations.” Officers reacting to a high number of pedestrian accidents also issued two citations to pedestrians.

The officers also issued 828 warnings for similar violations.

Operation Thunder will continue to focus on the Savannah area for an undisclosed amount of time. Citations and warnings through the past weekend include:

Seat Belt Warnings 90
Seat Belt Citations 256
Child Seat Warnings 12
Child Seat Citations 187
Speeding Warnings 287
Speeding Citations 630
Reckless Driving Citations 1
Uninsured Citations 27
DUI Citations 76
Suspended License Citations 78
Other Warnings 444
Other Citations 510
Pedestrian Violation Warnings 0
Pedestrian Violation Citations 2
Totals for this category 2595

Drug Arrests 25
Felony Arrests 19
Fugitives Apprehended 7
Stolen Vehicles Recovered 2
Number of Road Checks 30
Totals for this category 83

Source – Powell Harrelson
Law Enforcement Services, Director
Governor’s Office of Highway Safety