Georgia Joins East Coast States in Summer Safe Driving Initiative

May 26, 2015

To help ensure a safe kick off to the start of summer, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) is partnering with every state along the east coast to remind motorists to buckle up.

The “Border to Border” initiative will launch in conjunction with the traditional May campaign of Click It or Ticket which focuses on seatbelt safety.  

“Georgia has almost 20 percent more fatalities so far this year as it did this time last year,” Governor’s Office of Highway Safety Director Harris Blackwood said. “Joining our partner states along the east coast to ensure motorists are buckled up will hopefully put us on the road to decreasing fatalities. From Maine to Florida, people will know that if they don’t click it, they can expect a ticket.”

From 2008 to 2012, seatbelts saved nearly 63,000 lives nationwide. So while this year’s Click It or Ticket enforcement campaign runs from May 18-31, officers will continue to save lives by enforcing seatbelt laws year-round in Georgia.

“State troopers and motor carrier officers will be focused on seat belt and occupant protections violations, not only throughout this campaign, but throughout the year,” said Department of Public Safety Commissioner Col. Mark McDonough. “During the first quarter of this year, we’ve realized a 25 percent increase in fatalities and fatality crashes where 62 percent of the victims were unrestrained. Those numbers are alarming and unacceptable to us. Through education and enforcement we hope to change driver behavior and reverse this trend”.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports there were 9,580 unbelted crash deaths nationwide in 2013. In Georgia, those numbers are decreasing, but the state still experienced approximately 341 such deaths in 2013. In addition, unbelted crash deaths are more likely to happen at night with 59 percent happening between 6 p.m. and 5:59 a.m.

“Seatbelts save thousands of lives every year, but far too many motorists are still not buckling up, especially at night when the risk of getting in a crash is even greater,” Blackwood said. “We want to make this the safest summer possible. Buckling up is not optional. It’s the difference between life and death in a crash.”

For more on Click It or Ticket in Georgia, visit www.gahighwaysafety.org or call 404-656-6996.

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