Valdosta Daily Times

February 5, 2014

GSP shows a reduction in accidents this year

Adam Floyd
The Valdosta Daily Times

VALDOSTA — Numbers released by Georgia State Patrol Post 31 show that despite a reduction in the amount of time troopers spent on the road in 2013, there was a reduction in accidents and injuries compared to the previous year.

GSP Post 31 includes Brooks, Echols, Lanier and Lowndes counties, and the total number of post personnel was reduced from 18 to 16 from 2013. One officer was out on medical leave for the year, and another was detached to Atlanta. This reduction, along with increased training, resulted in patrol hours being cut in half from 40,137 hours in 2012 to 19,491 hours in 2013, according to Taylor, but many of those cut hours were spent in training.

“I feel that during 2013, we embarked on a mission to better educate our personnel to perform their duties in a more efficient, educated and professional manner,” said Sergeant L. Carl Taylor, Post 31 commander.

Troopers spent a considerable amount of time in the classroom, receiving training in DUI detection, advanced rapid response, emergency vehicle safety, pursuit driving, commercial vehicle and cargo theft, firearms, use of force, pursuit immobilization techniques and child safety. Two troopers attended individual training concerning drug recognition, two troopers received certification to teach public safety, one trooper received firearm instructor training and another received K-9 officer training.

“I would say that 2013 was one of the first years in a long time during my experience with the department that we have embarked on acquiring such a quantity and quality of training throughout the department,” said Taylor.

Despite the loss of patrol hours, Post 31 saw a 21 percent reduction in the number of injuries resulting from vehicle accidents and a small increase in the total number of vehicle stops.

“Part of the reason for the drop in injuries is related to our patrol efforts which targeted high-crash corridors and the related more serious crashes,” said Taylor.

Moving into 2014, Taylor said the post’s primary goals are to focus strongly on DUI enforcement, speed enforcement and child safety seat and seat belt violation enforcement. Troopers will be conducting more road checks, conducting more concentrated patrols and putting a stronger emphasis on field sobriety tests in the course of crash investigations for drivers impaired by alcohol or drugs, both illegal drugs and prescription drugs.

Personnel

2012: 18

2013: 16



Crashes

2012: 1,639

2013: 1,618



Fatalities

2012: 13

2013: 14



Injuries

2012: 943

2013: 744



DUI Arrests

2012: 414

2013: 388



Seat Belt Arrests

2012: 1,180

2013: 827



Child Seat/Restraint

Arrests

2012: 395

2013: 305



Total Warnings

2012: 16,170

2013: 15,472



Road Check Hours

2012: 1,349

2013: 778



Vehicle Stops

2012: 15,118

2013: 15,218