The Sandy Springs Police Department is one of 17 law enforcement agencies in Georgia to receive a Highway Enforcement of Aggressive Traffic grant for the 2015 grant season, the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety announced. Referred to as a H.E.A.T. grant, Sandy Springs Police Department’s award totals $70,400.

The goal of the H.E.A.T. program is to combat crashes, injuries and fatalities caused by impaired driving and speeding, while also increasing seatbelt use and educating the public about traffic safety and the dangers of DUI.

The Sandy Springs Police Department’s H.E.A.T Unit will use the grant from GOHS to develop and implement strategies to reduce local traffic crashes due to aggressive and dangerous driving behaviors, police spokesman Ron Momon wrote in a press release.

Agencies like the Sandy Springs Police Department receive H.E.A.T. grants because they have shown a particular dedication to protecting their citizens from impaired drivers, GOHS Director Harris Blackwood said. “This dedication is crucial because alcohol-related crash deaths still account for 25 percent of traffic fatalities in Georgia,” he added. “We are grateful to Chief Ken DeSimone and his staff for their continued hard work.”

Totaling $3.2 million for 2015, H.E.A.T. grants fund specialize traffic enforcement units in counties throughout the state. The program was designed to assist Georgia jurisdictions with the highest rates of traffic crashes, injuries and fatalities with grants awarded based on impaired driving and speeding data.

“Our relationship with the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, and particularly the H.E.A.T. grant, extends back to 2006, our first year as the Sandy Springs Police Department, DeSimone said. “The grant allows us to enhance our resources, not only on the streets but through our ongoing education process with both young and experienced drivers to lower fatality and serious injury accidents.”

As law enforcement partners in the Operation Zero Tolerance DUI and Click It or Ticket seatbelt campaigns, the Sandy Springs Police Department will also conduct mobilizations throughout the year in coordination with GOHS’s year-round waves of high visibility patrols, multi-jurisdictional road checks and sobriety checkpoints.

For more information about the H.E.A.T. program or any other GOHS campaign, visit www.gahighwaysafety.org or call 404-656-6996.