The Georgia State Patrol has been steadily losing staff numbers, and there are fears that an understaffed agency could mean a higher risk of auto accidents on our already dangerous highways. When there are less police officers on the road to deter speeding and reckless driving, this conduct will only increase leading to more car accidents and pedestrian accidents.
According to reports, the Georgia State Patrol has been steadily and consistently losing staff members over recent years. In April 2022, the Georgia State Patrol had a total of 828 troopers. However, just a few months later in January 2023, that number had dropped to just 783.
This decline in staffing numbers at the Georgia State Patrol has been evident for a while now. Even as the number of vehicles on Georgia highways has increased exponentially, the number of troopers responsible for keeping these highways safe and responding to car accidents has not kept pace. For example, in 1977, 524 Georgia State Patrol troopers were assigned to keep motorists safe on the highways and respond to accident crises. In 2023, at one point, there were just 497 Georgia State Patrol troopers assigned to the highways, lower than they were at least 45 years ago. These 497 troopers were in charge of maintaining safety on highways that have a far denser population of motor vehicles than they had in 1977.
The understaffing at the Georgia State Patrol is a matter of serious concern, especially when taken against the backdrop of an increase in the number of auto accident wrongful deaths in the state. In 2021, a total of 1,818 people were killed in car accidents on Georgia highways, which accounted for an approximately 9% increase from the previous year. Those auto accident fatality numbers have been increasing steadily over the past few years.
The Georgia Governor’s office has addressed the problem of staff shortages linked to salary concerns at the Georgia State Patrol, and has worked to increase salaries by at least $7000 over the last 2 years. However, sources say that while the pay increases affected by the administration have been welcome, they are expected to be outpaced by similar agencies in other states.
The staff shortages at the Georgia State Patrol contribute directly to lower enforcement, a fact which is already evident. Troopers already say that having fewer personnel available makes it difficult for them to conduct enforcement campaigns, especially those targeting speeding on our highways. Speeding is one just one of the factors that has been responsible for an increase in the number of auto accident deaths on our highways, and a failure to enforce speeding laws is indirectly responsible for those wrongful deaths.
The Atlanta car crash attorneys at Katz Personal Injury Lawyers are dedicated to the representation of persons injured in car accidents in the metro Atlanta region and across Georgia. If you or a loved one have suffered injuries in a car accident, talk to a lawyer at our firm and determine if you have legal options to a claim for damages. You may be eligible for compensation that includes medical expenses, lost income and other types of damages. Talk to an attorney at our firm and discuss your case.