Operation Southern Slow Down

Officers with the Sarasota Police Department will participate in Operation Southern Slow Down beginning Monday, July 17, 2023. The Sarasota Police Department partners with law enforcement agencies throughout Florida, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, and Tennessee.
Operation Southern Slow Down, which will take place July 17 – 23, 2023, will focus on the busy summertime travel period when injury and fatal crashes increase significantly. The high visibility enforcement and awareness campaign will work to reduce fatalities and severe injuries by having motorists obey speed limits.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), for more than two decades, speeding has been involved in approximately one-third of all motor vehicle fatalities. In 2021, speeding was a contributing factor in 29% of all traffic fatalities.
“The most important thing about driving is staying safe behind the wheel,” said Officer Tim Bales, Sarasota Police Department Traffic Unit. “One of our primary goals in our Traffic Unit is to make sure residents in our community and those visitors who are traveling through get home safely,” said Officer Bales.
In 2022 in the City of Sarasota, Sarasota Police officers issued 267 citations and/or warnings for not wearing seat belts, 5,243 citations and/or warnings for speeding, and 1,000 citations and/or warnings for driving while license suspended. There were also 168 arrests for driving under the influence (DUI).
Operation Southern Slow Down, formerly Operation Southern Shield, was launched in 2017.