Saturday, October 30, 2010

Georgia Department of Driver Services (DDS) Reminds Teens of Driving Restrictions

Curfew (for driving by teens) is midnight to six a.m. – no exceptions!

Parents and teens should be mindful of Georgia’s teenage driving restrictions especially as holiday activities ramp up. Georgia Department of Driver Services (DDS) lists all the restrictions on their website www.dds.ga.gov. Restrictions for teens holding a “Class D” license (sixteen to eighteen years of age) include:

1. No driving between the hours of 12 a.m. and 6 a.m. No exceptions.
2. Passenger restrictions:

For the initial six-month period immediately following the issuance of a Class D license, any Class D license holder shall not drive a motor vehicle upon the public roads, streets or highways of this state when any other passenger in the vehicle is not a member of the driver's immediate family. During the second six-month period immediately following issuance of a Class D license, any Class D license holder shall not drive a motor vehicle upon the public roads, streets or highways of this state when more than one other passenger in the vehicle (who is not a member of the driver's immediate family) is less than 21 years of age. After the second six-month period, any Class D license holder shall not drive a motor vehicle upon the public roads, streets or highways of this state when more than three other passengers in the vehicle (who are not members of the driver’s immediate family) are less than 21 years of age.

“Buckling up is the first safety step, but please be mindful of teen passenger restrictions and the limited driving hours,” said DDS Commissioner Gregory C. Dozier. “These laws are mechanisms which support safe teen driving, and they do make a difference with lowering crashes and fatalities when observed,” he added.

Most recently, the Georgia Legislature passed new teen cell phone legislation which forbids any teen operating a motor vehicle from any cell phone use – including texting.

For more information including access to many Internet Services, please visit www.dds.ga.gov.
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Friday, October 29, 2010

Mayor Kasim Reed and the City of Atlanta Announce Partnership with Nissan North America to Advance Zero-Emission Mobility in Atlanta

Atlanta Prepares for Nissan LEAF 100% Electric Vehicle

Today, Mayor Kasim Reed announced the city’s efforts in readying for electric vehicles and joined Nissan North America Inc. (NNA) to celebrate Atlanta as one of the first cities in the Southeast to launch the Nissan LEAF Electric Vehicle. NNA announced that it is entering into an agreement with Clean Cities-Atlanta (CC-A) to advance zero-emission mobility by promoting the development of electric vehicles and an electric-charging network. The announcement was part of the City of Atlanta’s Sustainability Week, a series of events to raise awareness throughout Atlanta about issues such as energy and water conservation, the creation of green jobs, locally produced food and fuel efficiency.

The Nissan LEAF, the country’s first all-electric vehicle designed for the mass market, makes its global debut in December in certain states and will be rolled out throughout the United States in 2011.

Earlier this week, Mayor Reed unveiled Power to Change, a plan that will guide the City of Atlanta’s sustainability efforts for the next several years. As part of the plan, Mayor Reed has set the aggressive goal of making Atlanta a top 10 city for sustainability.

“Reducing greenhouse gas emissions is a critical component of making Atlanta a cleaner, greener and more sustainable city,” said Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed. “We appreciate Nissan for choosing Atlanta to be one of the first cities in the southeast to launch the Nissan LEAF. This public endorsement affirms our commitment to alternative fuels and supports our drive to be a top-ten sustainable city.”

As part of the agreement, NNA and CC-A will collaborate on plans to promote a charging infrastructure for EVs, as well as the deployment, operation and maintenance of a charging network. CC-A is a coalition of government agencies, utilities, public interest groups, and public and private fleets that advance the use of alternatives to gasoline, and diesel fuels in cars, trucks and buses. The partners in the agreement also will work to coordinate the establishment of policies and help streamline the deployment of an EV infrastructure.

“The Renault-Nissan Alliance is committed to becoming a global leader in zero-emission vehicles, and Clean Cities-Atlanta has shown similar leadership through their progressive policies and focus on clean energy,” said Eric Noziere, vice president, Corporate Planning and Program Management Office. “This agreement further demonstrates the commitment by Atlanta to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. We look forward to bringing the zero-emission Nissan LEAF to the roads of metropolitan Atlanta.”

The agreement adds Atlanta to a growing network of zero-emission vehicle initiatives across the United States and around the world. Nissan, along with its alliance partner Renault, has formed partnerships with more than 80 governments, cities and other organizations to advance the deployment of electric vehicles. It is the only automaker committed to making affordable, all-electric vehicles available to the mass market globally. The Nissan LEAF will roll out to the state of Georgia in 2011.

Consumers and other interested drivers have their first opportunity to test-drive a Nissan LEAF in select markets through the “Drive Electric Tour.” The tour provides information about the car, its technology, and its features, along with the first public test-drives. Interested drivers can learn more about the tour, including specific locations, and register to drive the Nissan LEAF at www.drivenissanleaf.com.

The Nissan LEAF is a five-passenger compact electric car that uses no gas, creates no emissions and has no tailpipe. It has a top speed of 90 mph and is powered by advanced lithium-ion batteries, which provide the car with a range of 100 miles on a single charge as tested on the LA4 test cycle, enough to satisfy the daily driving needs of more than 90 percent of Americans.

In North America, Nissan's operations include automotive styling, engineering, consumer and corporate financing, sales and marketing, distribution and manufacturing. Nissan is dedicated to improving the environment under the Nissan Green Program 2010 and has been recognized as a 2010 ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year by the U.S Environmental Protection Agency. More information on Nissan in North America, the Nissan LEAF and zero emissions can be found at www.nissanusa.com.
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Monday, October 25, 2010

Day and Night Lane Closures Week of October 25th on I-85 Express Lanes

Lane closures continue this week on the Interstate 85 Express Lane project in DeKalb and Gwinnett Counties. Georgia DOT’s contractor, World Fiber Technologies will work day and night next week as weather permits.

The work plan will require the overnight closing of the outside lane of I-85 northbound from Pleasant Hill Road to State Route 316 in Gwinnett County starting at 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. Monday, 25th through Friday, 29th. “If the weather cooperates, crews will bore under the interstate for the third week. Boring is the first step to running the hundreds of miles of conduit needed for the technology that will operate the Express Lane system,” explained Georgia DOT District Construction Engineer, Randall Davis.
Daytime work will occur Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

The outside southbound lane of I-85 southbound will be closed from Dawson Blvd to I-285 so crews can inspect and repair existing communications equipment. The lane will be closed from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. only.

The I-85 Express Lanes Project includes installation of 16 miles of fiber and signage along Interstate Highway 85 between Chamblee Tucker Road and Old Peachtree Road and along State Route 316 between I-85 and Riverside Parkway. This $11.7 million project was awarded to World Fiber Technologies, Inc., of Alpharetta.

When completed, registered transit buses, motorcycles, alternative fueled vehicles and vehicles with three or more passengers will be allowed to use the inside (left) HOT lane for free, while single- and double-occupant vehicles will be allowed to use the lane if they choose to pay a variably priced toll.
For additional information and construction updates on this project, please email Teri Pope at tpope@dot.ga.gov.

Georgia DOT urges travelers to call 511 for updated information about these or any other construction projects on interstates and state routes. Georgia 511 is a free phone service that provides real-time traffic and travel information statewide, such as traffic conditions, incidents, lane closures, and delays due to inclement weather. Callers also can transfer to operators to request assistance or report incidents 24 hours a day, seven days a week. More information is available at www.511ga.org.

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Thursday, October 14, 2010

Avoid Deer on Road by Taking Extra Caution During this Time of Year

With an estimated 50,000 deer-car collisions annually in Georgia, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division advises motorists across the state to be extra cautious of increased deer and wildlife sightings this fall season.

Increased deer sightings occur for a number of reasons – increased populations, habitat fragmentation and mating season are a few. With fall breeding season in full swing – a peak time of year for deer-related car collisions – the division offers motorists some tips and information to help avoid potential collisions.

“Some Georgia motorists may only expect deer to cross rural roadways, while in fact, urban and suburban roads are also prime areas for deer-car collisions,” explains Don McGowan, Wildlife Resources Division biologist. “Hunting is oftentimes mistakenly blamed for increased deer-car collisions in autumn when, in reality, deer are on the move due to a series of both natural and human causes.”

One such cause is mating season. Deer mating season occurs between October and early December. Male deer go into rut and begin actively searching for mates. This greatly contributes to the increased movement of deer, bringing them across roadways.

Increased human population and rural development also lend to increased deer sightings. As the human population continues to grow and expand into traditionally rural areas, deer lose their natural food source and consequently move into new areas in search of food and water.

Additionally, as we begin to “fall back” for daylight savings time, our days become shorter and nights become longer. Rush hour for most commuters tends to fall during the same hours in which white-tailed deer are most active – at dawn and dusk.

The division advises drivers of the following:

·    Unpredictable: Always remember deer are wildlife and therefore, very unpredictable. A deer calmly standing on the side of a road may bolt into or across the road rather than away from it when startled by a vehicle.

·    One Deer Usually Means More: Take caution and slow down when a deer crosses. Deer generally travel in groups, so if one crosses, be prepared that others may follow.

·    Time of Day: As deer are most active at dawn and dusk, they typically are seen roadside during the early morning and late evening – the same times most people are commuting to and from work.

·    Time of Year: While many deer-car collisions occur in early spring and late summer, when natural food sources are scarce, the fall breeding season is also a peak time for such accidents. Road shoulders generally provide green food both during extremely dry times of the year and following a long, hard winter.

·    Minimize Damage: If it is too late to avoid a collision, drivers are advised to slow down as much as possible to minimize damage – resist the urge to swerve to avoid the deer, this may cause further damage, sending drivers off the road or causing a collision with another vehicle. If an accident occurs, alert the police as soon as possible.

For more information on deer-car collisions in Georgia or to learn more about white-tailed deer or deer seasons, visit www.georgiawildlife.com , contact a Wildlife Resources Division Game Management office or call (770) 918-6416.


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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

2011 Jump Start Conference: Defining Success in Transportation

January 17-19, 2011
Renaissance Concourse Hotel
Atlanta, GA
Sponsored by SMC³
www.smc3conference.com

At the SMC³ 2011 Jump Start Conference you will:

· Hear from the CEOs of major shippers, carriers and logistics service providers on trends and business concerns in 2011.
· Learn the risks and rewards of integrating sustainability concepts with traditional supply chain practices.
· Get updated on global economic indicators and domestic legislative initiatives.
· Extend your network of shippers, carriers, and 3PLs—2011 Jump Start brings all the supply chain players together.
· Enjoy outstanding conference value, including free bonus sessions on supply chain outsourcing, temperature-controlled LTL, and international LTL costing.

Know what to expect in the global supply chain and how to strategize for it—the information you discover at 2011 Jump Start will define your success in the coming year.

Clayton State Students Affairs Receives Grant from Governor’s Office of Highway Safety

The Division of Student Affairs at Clayton State University recently received the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety (GOHS) grant in the amount of $7,490. The grant is effective Oct. 1, 2010 through Sept. 30, 2011.

André Clanton, assistant director of Student Conduct and chair of the Alcohol and other Drugs Education and Prevention Team (ADEPT) at Clayton State, along with Deborah Dupree, director of Special Projects for Student Affairs, worked together on the grant proposal.

“The GOHS grant will be used to provide alcohol and other drug education and prevention programming at Clayton State University,” Clanton says. “In addition, the grant will support a peer health educator position, survey tools to assess the alcohol and other drug climate on campus, education and training for our BACCHUS (Boosting Alcohol Consciousness Concerning the Health of University Students) peer health educators, and attendance to local alcohol and other drug education conferences.”

Clanton is excited about receiving the grant.

“This grant will help us educate students and provide them with the knowledge they need to make wise decisions regarding alcohol and drug use and abuse,” he says. “It also helps us teach other students how to share this information with their peers. As a student affairs professional, I am all about education, prevention, and leadership development.”

Clanton admits that it was challenging to gather statistics on alcohol related incidents involving Clayton State University students as well as creating a programming agenda for the entire year. However, despite the challenges, Clanton feels rewarded by the experience.

“What's most rewarding is seeing some of the results of our labor,” he says. “Over the summer, our institution received its BACCHUS Network Charter. We received our charter through the hard work and dedication of our student peer health educators. We also attended the Governor's Office of Highway Safety Young Adult Conference. While there, we interacted with other institutions and shared struggles and triumphs of alcohol education and prevention on our perspective campuses. What we learned is we are all fighting for the same cause...saving lives.”

Clanton notes that BACCHUS is affiliated with Clayton State University ADEPT.

“The grant will be used to train our BACCHUS students to develop programs, present information, and recruit members,” he says. “In addition, the grant allowed us to purchase an assessment tool to help us collect statistical information about Clayton State University students' actual use and perceptions of alcohol and other drug use and abuse on campus.”

The grant will be used for National Collegiate Alcohol Awareness Week programming, which occurs from Oct. 17 to Oct. 23, during which BACCHUS will be sponsoring programs with the Campus Events Council.

The first program is a dinner/movie program on Monday, Oct. 18. BACCHUS and CEC will be showing "Higher Learning" and having a discussion about the many issues it addresses. Clayton State’s Peer Health Educators are Charnele Dobbins, sophomore Nursing Major and Chanielle Lee, senior Healthcare Management Major.

A unit of the University System of Georgia, Clayton State University is an outstanding comprehensive metropolitan university located 15 miles southeast of downtown Atlanta.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Teens Not Exposed to Diverse Driving Experience Prior to Licensing, Finds AAA Foundation Study

/PRNewswire/ -- In advance of National Teen Driver Safety Week (October 17-23), today the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety released the first naturalistic study using invehicle cameras to capture teenage drivers and their parents during their supervised driving phase. Nearly half (47 percent) of parents in the study reported that after the yearlong learner's stage, there was still at least one condition in which they did not feel comfortable letting their teen drive. Yet, more than one-third (37 percent) of these families allowed their teen to obtain a license within a month of being eligible, although a few families restricted driving in certain scenarios.

The average amount of weekly driving varied greatly among families, ranging from just twenty minutes to almost five hours the study found. Sixty-eight percent of parents reported that opportunities to drive together were limited by busy schedules of both parents and teens. Teens averaged just over an hour and a half of supervised driving per week, mostly on routine trips along the same routes. Meaning, few teens gained significant experience in more challenging situations, such as driving in inclement weather or in heavy traffic. After a full year of driving:

* One in three parents said they still didn't consider their teen ready to drive unsupervised in heavy traffic or on the highway.
* One in five didn't think their teen was ready to drive unsupervised in the rain.


"Driving in a variety of settings is the best way to build competence; starting early and practicing often can make the crucial difference between being a tentative novice driver or one capable of handling challenging and unavoidable driving scenarios," said AAA Foundation President and CEO Peter Kissinger. "Until now, there's been almost no scientific research on what parents actually do while supervising their teens' driving. This study reinforces that parents are ideally positioned to assess their teen's early driving ability and provide invaluable training and guidance during this critical time."

Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for teenagers in this country. The first few years of unsupervised driving are the most dangerous – 1,363 U.S. teen drivers age 15-18 died in traffic crashes in 2008. However, teens are clearly a danger to others as well because the total number of deaths resulting from these crashes was 3,495.

"Humans learn complex tasks like driving more from direct experience than by being told what to do," said Arthur Goodwin, the report's primary investigator and a Senior Research Associate with the University of North Carolina (UNC) Highway Safety Research Center. "Parents should ask themselves: Do I want my teen to learn how to handle bad weather, darkness, rush hour traffic or narrow rural roads without me in the car?"

Although graduated driver's license (GDL) systems vary by state, most require at least six months of supervised driving for beginners; several states require up to a year. During the supervised stage of GDL, the research showed parents need to:

* Ensure ample practice in all driving situations– including frequent practice at night, in bad weather, in heavy city traffic, on rural highways and on busy interstates.
* Share their driving "wisdom" to help teens spot dangers that aren't obvious and see the "big picture."


Parents should use "I" statements, explaining what they would do in critical situations, so teens will be more likely to listen to and remember.

* Teach teens to drive defensively, be wary of other drivers and anticipate the unexpected things they might do. For example, "Even when I have a green light, I always glance both ways to make sure other cars are stopping, because sometimes they don't."


The AAA Foundation commissioned the UNC Highway Safety Research Center to conduct the study. The initial phase concluded in January 2010 and the second phase will conclude this fall as researchers continue tracking teens once they obtain their provisional license. Ultimately, the study will shed light on how teens handle the high-risk transition to independent driving and provide insight on the nature of distractions facing newly licensed teen drivers.

AAA offers online tools and information to help parents work with their teen drivers. The motor club's new Web site, www.teendriving.aaa.com, helps parents and teens manage the complex learning-to-drive process by providing them with state-specific information that they need based on the teen's progress toward licensure.

The site features AAA StartSmart, a series of online lessons and newsletters based on the National Institutes of Health's Checkpoints program, which has been proven to help parents improve teen driver safety and is being offered nationally for the first time. Launched this summer, the site also offers an online version of AAA's Dare To Prepare workshop and lessons from the motor club's Teaching Your Teen To Drive program, both of which assist families that are or soon will be learning to drive.

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