Operation Southern Shield aims to reduce injury crashes on the roadways

PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Law enforcement officers have ramped up patrols in the southeast this week for a joint safety campaign they're calling "Operation Southern Shield."

Through Sunday, more state troopers will be out and about on major roadways trying to lessen your chances of getting in a serious crash.

"This is not an activity driven operation. We're going to flood the roadways with state troopers though," Lieutenant Eddie Elmore said on behalf of the Florida Highway Patrol.

Officials say just by wearing your seatbelt, you bring down your chances of dying in a crash by 50 percent.

"It's just not a Florida operation," Lieutenant Elmore said. "It's a Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama operation as well so when you're traveling through these states you're just not leaving one state and saying okay now I'm safe. Now I can start driving unsafe again. We're all on the same page."

Lieutenant Elmore said one of the biggest recommendations he has for drivers is to limit distractions, like cell phones.

He said this is the first time FHP has promoted "Operation Southern Shield," but it goes along with its "Arrive Alive" campaign.