Georgia County Government - Fall 2015 - (Page 42)

ImPAct oF leGIslAtIon/PolIcY the crisis on Turning the Tide on the Surge in Georgia Traffic Deaths By Liz Rothman, Public Affairs Writer / Office of Communications Georgia Department of Transportation eAch morning the Georgia Department of Transportation's (Georgia DOT) daily fatality report lists the deaths on Georgia's roads reported over the past 24  hours. It includes the type of crash; names and ages of victims; a year-todate total; and a comparison of numbers to the same time last year. It is a somber account  - after all, these are not just statistics. These are people - 662 as of June 30, 2015 - whose families are torn apart by a tragic loss. That's 114 more people killed on Georgia's roads in the first half of this year compared with the same six-month period last year. This increase in crashes and fatalities is not just on Georgia's interstates. State routes and rural roads in local communities statewide are also seeing a spike - especially in the northeast and west central regions. And Georgia is not alone, most states are experiencing a similar surge. To address a startling increase in fatalities on Georgia's roadways in the first quarter of 2015, Georgia DOT launched DriveAlert ArriveAlive, a statewide multiagency campaign that calls attention to the rise in roadway fatalities and educates the public about how making simple changes in their driving behavior can help turn the tide on the number of crashes and fatalities. The 42 GeorGiA County Government DriveAlert ArriveAlive message to motorists is simple: buckle up; stay off the phone; and drive alert. In the first three months of 2015 there were 294 traffic fatalities in Georgia. That was 55 more than the same period in 2014. As of the 6-month mark (ending June 30, 2015) there were a total of 662 fatalities - 114 more than the first half of last year. That's over 100 deaths a month. Georgia DOT Commissioner Russell McMurry calls it a crisis. "We've got a real issue today on Georgia's roads. If we continue at this rate, we could see over 1,200 fatalities by the end of the year. That would be the first increase in Georgia in nine years," McMurry said. "That's just unacceptable - especially when many of these crashes can be prevented by changing driver behavior." reduce Preventable crashes by eliminating distractions. Many people are dying as a result of preventable single vehicle crashes. In fact, single vehicle crashes account for 49 percent of all traffic fatalities. Georgia DOT attributes the main cause to be distracted driving. Drivers, now more than ever, are driving distracted or impaired. They are just not focused on driving. They can be seen doing other things - talking on the phone, texting, adjusting the radio, using GPS, putting on makeup, eating, or just plain daydreaming. A startling 74 percent of fatalities are due to driver behavior. DriveAlert ArriveAlive implores drivers to take responsibility for their driving behavior.... Drive responsibly. It's easy as 1-2-3. 1. Buckle up... Always wear a seat belt no matter how far you drive [it's the law]. 2. Stay off the phone and mobile devices ... If possible, shut off the phone to avoid temptation [even hands-free use is a distraction] and no texting [Georgia law bans texting and driving]. Just drive. 3. Drive alert ... Do not drive drowsy or impaired. safety is Georgia dot's number one Priority GDOT's safety efforts have contributed to nine consecutive years of decreased roadway fatalities in Georgia. The goal of DriveAlert ArriveAlive is to continue that annual downward trend - toward zero deaths. GDOT employs a variety of measures that contribute to safer driving. For example, instead of a vertical pavement drop-off, GDOT uses a safety edge that shapes the pavement edge, allowing drivers who drift

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Georgia County Government - Fall 2015

President’s Message
Director’s Desk
Putting the Private Sector to Work for Georgia’s Counties
Military Partnerships with Georgia Counties a Win-Win
Georgia Helps Itself: The Efforts to Provide Funding Alternatives
A New Direction
Rebounding Economy Leads to Reform in Property Tax Law
The Crisis on our Roads: Turning the Tide on Surge in Georgia Traffic Deaths
2015 Legislative Service Award Recipients
Education and Economic Development Go Hand-in-Hand
County Collaborations with Local Schools Save Money, Improve Efficiency
Georgia’s Technical Colleges: Where Business and Education Intersect
Welcome to 191 Peachtree, ACC G's New Home
Georgia County Internship Program: Summer Success Stories
ACCG Heads to Jekyll Island for the Legislative Leadership Conference
Conference Agenda
I, You, Me, and We
Reducing In-the-Line-of Duty Deaths with Below 100 Train the Trainer
“Her Majesty” Instills Valuable Lessons: Lessons learned from the Hancock County Courthouse Fire
Thank You to our Partners
Why Can’t We Just Keep It All? The Case for Records & Information Management
Social Media and the Dog Tags
News & Notes
Index of Advertisers

Georgia County Government - Fall 2015