APD turns up the HEAT for the holidays - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

APD turns up the HEAT for the holidays

December 14, 2004

Albany-- Albany Police officers have a stern message this holiday season: If you are out there drinking and driving, we're out here looking for you.

HEAT officers warn motorists to drive safely in busy Holiday traffic. HEAT stands for Highway Enforcement of Aggressive Traffic, and you've probably seen those dark blue HEAT patrol cars around the city. They are part of the Governor's Office of Highway Safety effort to stop high risk drivers in Georgia.

For the rest of December those HEAT officers will be on the road, making sure they are safe for holiday traffic.

Corporal Frank Herndon is dealing out December HEAT. The HEAT officers in Albany want to keep you safe for the holidays, by keeping unsafe drivers off the streets. "We trying to get out here and save lives by having people to slow down, and not drink and drive," Herndon said.

Tickets are being written, with Zero Tolerance for offenders. Patrolman Aaron Simpson said "Speeding, Improper lane changes, aggressive driving, running red lights. Stuff that is going to put other citizens in jeopardy."

Last month the HEAT officers handed out 650 traffic citations, but only one for DUI. Already in December they have busted four impaired drivers. They are warning you that Holiday parties, drinking, and driving will not be tolerated.

Herndon said, "We have people who go out and think if they have only a couple of drinks they can drive. What they don't understand is that drink that they have can impair their reaction time, and they get out and they have accidents."

During December the HEAT officers are stepping up concentrated patrols, to stop dangerous driving.

"It's Christmas," Herndon said. "We hate to have to go tell somebody their mother or father or child was killed because they were drinking and driving. Or they were hit by someone who had been drinking and driving."

On average 30 people die in motor vehicle crashes in Georgia every month. Statewide law enforcement will join together to target impaired drivers for the rest of the holiday season.

posted at 4:40PM by dave.miller@walb.com