Operation Thunder Back In Augusta For Holidays - WJBF-TV ABC 6 Augusta-Aiken News, Weather, Sports

Operation Thunder Back In Augusta For Holidays

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Augusta, GA -

Operation Thunder was a 3 month campaign that ended in June, but throughout November and December, the operation will be back in Richmond County.

"Last year, that's actually when we had our most fatalities and we want to do everything we can to keep those fatalities as low as possible, hopefully zero, for November and December this year," Richmond County Lt. Lewis Blanchard says.

That means deputies will be setting up checkpoints to make sure people are not drinking and driving. Deputies say the effort has lowered the number of fatalities and accidents so far this year.

"Last year, compared to year to date this year, we're running about 55% better on fatalities and about a 25% reduction in accidents with injuries. That's about 1200 less accidents this year compared to last year," Blanchard says.

The checkpoints will be all over Richmond County, in fact, deputies will move to different locations throughout the night. If you drive through a check point, to make it easier on yourself, there are some things you can do.

"Leave your seat belt on, just stay relaxed as the officer approaches, roll down your window for them. Hand them your driver's license, proof of insurance and that information, generally speaking, you're going to have an interaction with the officer for less than 60 seconds," Blanchard says.

Deputies are also looking out for people who are not wearing seat belts and parents who don't have their children in car seats. Deputies say that car seat violations were higher than normal, and because of that, they held several classes on the matter.

"Unfortunately, that remains one of our largest fines out there. Children are not being properly buckled up or restrained in the car, and you know, we want to make sure somebody is taking care of the kids," Blanchard says.

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