GSP warns it will be stricter on speeders

Published 6:28 pm Friday, December 1, 2017

Drivers in Troup County will soon face increased chances of speeding fines thanks to the one, two punch of stricter enforcement and more officers on the road within the next year.

During a Troup County Board of Commissioner’s work session Thursday, the commissioners heard plans from the Georgia State Patrol for stricter enforcement in the county.

“We are going to eliminate the 10-mile over the speed limit rule,” Sgt. Maurice Raines said. “That is no more, as long as I am commander. People think that they can drive 10 miles over the speed limit and not get stopped. My people will be stopping people if you are speeding. Speed does kill.”

The increase is partially in response to a higher number of accidents and fatalities in the county over the past year. Speeding and distracted driving are two of the top causes of accidents, making them the obvious concerns for GSP’s focus.

“This past year as far as every aspect of what we do in enforcement in this county has increased in every category from crashes to fatalities to making arrests to warnings to writing citations to stopping vehicles, all areas have gone up in some capacity,” Raines said.

“I’m not happy about the fatalities. We’ve already exceeded what the fatalities are from previous years to this year.”

GSP will also focus on vehicles following too closely and distracted drivers.

“Also, we are going to focus on following too closely,” Raines said. “A lot of crashes are because somebody was distracted in the car or doing something other than paying attention to driving the car, and therefore we realize that they were following too close because they are distracted. We are going to be very vigorous in enforcing that.”

These issues have already been enforced more this year than in the past, according to Raines.

“We are stopping more cars,” Raines said. “Vehicle stops have increased by 50 percent this past year.”

The number of vehicles stopped is expected to continue to increase in the next year when the local state patrol office will be fully staffed for the first time since 2008.

“Personnel wise, I’m expecting in 2018 to be at full capacity,” Raines said. “I have two in trooper school right now, five waiting to go. Those that are in school have really excelled, and I do believe that unless they do something stupid, they are going to graduate, so 2018 is a great year for us as far as manpower. I haven’t seen that since 2008.”