COLUMBIA, S.C. — Saving lives on the road is the focus of a effort taking place in five southern states, including South Carolina

The South Carolina Department of Public Safety launched their Operation: Southern Shield campaign this week.  From July 14th-July 21st, the department will increase the number of troopers on South Carolina roads during the day.

Trooper Judd Jones with the South Carolina Highway Patrol says the campaign will look to reduce speed related deaths and crashes in the state.

"Our goal everyday is target zero," Trooper Jones says."We know that speeding related crashes are one of the leading causes of our fatalities on our roadways so our goal is to reduce it even more this year."

According to the South Carolina Department of Public Safety, last year speed was a factor in more than 36% of fatal collisions in the state. 

Troopers hope this week's campaign will lower that percentage.

"When you're out here driving wear your seat-belts, slow down of course avoid distractions, never get behind the wheel under the influence that's something we want the public to do everyday to help us reduce traffic fatalities on our roadways." Trooper Jones said.