Operation Thunder returns to find some traffic problems still high



Operation Thunder returned during the weekend to find that some of the major traffic issues present earlier this year still rank high.

“Our biggest disappointment was that DUIs were a little high, and so were child seats,” said Lt. Lewis Blanchard.

Child-seat violations topped the list with more than 50 citations, and DUIs came in at second with just under 50 arrests.

Richmond County deputies worked with the Georgia State Patrol on Friday and Saturday evening to set up checkpoints at six locations.

The Governor’s Office of Highway Safety brought Operation Thunder to Richmond County for three months this year in an effort to cut down the high number of fatalities the county saw in 2012.

When the operation ended in June, officials said it would never really be over. The operation returns to the county randomly for smaller operations, such as the one last weekend.

Throughout the major operation, driving under the influence and child safety seat citations remained high. The numbers began to fall as the operation came to an end, showing law enforcement that people were adopting better, safer habits.

The weekend operation, however, made law enforcement fear that bad habits are still present.

“We hope that our continued efforts will remind people to plan ahead with designated drivers or taxis,” Blanchard said. “It is also extremely disappointing to see so many people driving their children around during late night hours without having them in proper child seats or booster seats.”

The sheriff’s office plans to hold complimentary car seat safety inspections in December. Anyone who cannot afford a seat is asked to contact Safe Kids of Augusta.


Sheriff gets traffic enforcement grant
Richmond County deputies write more speeding tickets in 2013
New Augusta traffic bureau proposed
Police retirement fund, county programs benefit from traffic ticket fines
Operation Thunder pinpoints traffic problems
Operation Thunder totals

Seat belts: 22

Child restraint: 52

DUI: 47

Uninsured motorists: 9

Open container: 10

Suspended/revoked license: 38

Excessive tint: 2

Other violations: 80

Warnings: 92

Vehicle pursuits: 1

Warrants issued: 12

Misdemeanor drug cases: 8

Road check locations: Richmond Hill Road, Stevens Creek Road, Kissingbower Road, Lumpkin Road, River Watch Parkway and Washington Road.