Law enforcement across Alabama and the Southeast will be out in July 17-23 as part of a special traffic campaign to reduce the number of crashes by enforcing basic highway safety laws. The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs is teaming up with authorities for Operation Southern Shield — a joint effort between five Southern states— to crack down on motorists who ignore the major factors in automobile crashes and deaths – speeding, impaired and distracted driving and not wearing a seat belt, according to an Alabama State Trooper press release. The campaign is sandwiched between other major highway safety campaigns and is being conducted in response to the high volume of traffic with summer traveling and vacations. The campaign’s goal is to achieve a period of zero fatalities. “Summer is a time when families come together for fun, not funerals, and Gov. Ivey’s goal is to increase safety on Alabama’s highways,” said ADECA Director Kenneth Boswell. “Gov. Ivey and ADECA wholeheartedly endorse this effort and urge drivers to at all times to slow down, wear your seat belts and pay attention to the road.” ADECA’s Law Enforcement and Traffic Safety Division is working with the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency and police and sheriffs’ departments throughout the state to step up efforts to provide high-visibility of law enforcement and take unsafe drivers off the road. ADECA administers grant funding from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that pays overtime for officers to conduct extra patrols during special campaigns like Operation Southern Shield at hotspots where traffic crashes often occur. The safety campaign is also being conducted in Georgia, Florida, South Carolina and Tennessee, which along with Alabama, make up the NHTSA’s Southeast enforcement region. Speed is the number one cause of driving fatalities in Alabama. In 2015, speed was determined to be a factor in 28 percent of the fatal crashes; 63 percent of the victims were not wearing seat belts, and 43 percent of the drivers had been drinking.