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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — Slow down! That’s the message five Southern states are trying to get across with the weeklong initiative called “Operation Southern Slow Down.”

Alabama is among the states joining forces to crack down on drivers who have the need for speed.

Over the last two years, law enforcement agencies reported more drivers traveling at extreme speeds of above 100 miles per hours. Death have been the outcome in a majority of these cases.

“As we look at the whole of wrecks right now, all the crashes that we’re having, the injury types, just crashes in general… we notice they all one main contributing factor,” said Alabama Senior Trooper Brandon Bailey. “That’s speeding.”

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), almost 43,000 people died in motor vehicle crashes last year. That’s up 10.5% from 2020.

“Operation Southern Slow Down” aims at reducing that number.

“We’re learning that there’s strength in numbers,” Bailey continued. “We have one common goal with these five Southern states to target federal and state highways and try to curve that behavior.”

In 2020, speeding was a contributing factor in 29% of all traffic fatalities. Alabama experienced 934 deaths in fatal crashes that same year.

Major interstates like I-565 and smaller roads with curves will be a focal point of the operation. However, Bailey encouraged drivers to watch their speed no matter where they’re driving.

The initiative, now in its fifth year, runs from Monday, July 18 to Saturday, July 23 in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and Tennessee.