Monday, December 13, 2010

States Warn Drunk Drivers: Over the Limit. Under Arrest

 More than five hundred Georgia police agencies are conducting DUI road checks and patrols to keep families safe on the road this holiday season. The state's Operation Zero Tolerance (OZT) enforcement mobilization runs Dec. 17 through Jan. 2. 

The Governor's Office of Highway Safety's (GOHS) is also launching a Thunder Task Force initiative targeting a county with some of the highest traffic fatality stats in the state. This is a three month program to reinforce local jurisdictions with increased state-coordinated traffic safety enforcement, focusing on DUI during the mobilization. GOHS Director Bob Dallas joins trauma surgeons and DUI victims to kick off the campaign with a news conference at a Savannah trauma center. Other news conferences are being held around the state to announce regional high visibility crackdown activities.

GOHS is supplementing its radio and TV paid media campaign with live radio announcements during traffic reports and University of Georgia football game broadcasts. UGA Coach Mark Richt begins every home game with a JumboTron stadium message: “Hang-Up...Buckle-Up...and Drive Sober so everyone has a safe trip home.” GOHS is also targeting drivers in high-risk, Hispanic, and minority communities with gas pump-topper ads at neighborhood convenience stores, and is using Facebook to reach millions of 18- to-34 year old high-risk drivers online.

/PRNewswire/ -- The Governors Highway Safety Association strongly supports the national "Drunk Driving. Over the Limit. Under Arrest." holiday drunk driving enforcement crackdown. According to GHSA Chairman Vernon F. Betkey, Jr., "State highway safety agencies are aggressively participating in this year's effort. State law enforcement partners will be making a very visible enforcement presence by increasing their drunk driving checkpoints and saturation patrols."

GHSA members are purchasing paid advertising and conducting a variety of awareness events to remind drivers that there's zero tolerance for those driving drunk this holiday season. Those citizens who may selfishly consider driving drunk should know that they will be pulled over and the consequences will be severe.

The holiday season is too often a deadly time on our roadways. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in December 2009, 753 people were killed in crashes that involved a drunk driver or motorcycle operator with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher – above the legal limit in every state and the District of Columbia.

To help move the nation toward zero roadway deaths, GHSA has been actively addressing the issue of impaired driving. Just last month, GHSA and NHTSA brought together a variety of state officials to discuss best practices in implementing alcohol ignition interlock programs. In 2011, GHSA will begin a three-year NHTSA-funded research effort to determine the most effective elements in a model interlock program. The Association strongly supports these devices and urges that they be required for all convicted drunk drivers. According to Chairman Betkey, "The technology exists to make it impossible for a person convicted of drunk driving to get behind the wheel of their vehicle unless they are sober. Every state should support these commonsense, lifesaving laws for all convicted offenders." Currently, 12 states have passed these laws.

State efforts will complement NHTSA's multimillion dollar "Drunk Driving. Over the Limit. Under Arrest." advertising campaign. The national holiday crackdown is organized by NHTSA and implemented by state highway safety agencies with the support of local law enforcement and other organizations. The crackdown runs through January 3.

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Thursday, December 9, 2010

Georgia Department of Driver Services (DDS) Receives Grant

Funds Earmarked for Georgia Motorcycle Safety Program
The Georgia Department of Driver Services (DDS) announced today the receipt of a grant totaling $104,700.00 earmarked for the DDS’s motorcycle safety training known as the Georgia Motorcycle Safety Program (GMSP). The Governor’s Office of Highway Safety (GOHS) approved the funding to be used for increasing the awareness of motorists and motorcyclists on sharing the road responsibly and safely. The funds will be used to pilot test a mobile licensing project and to purchase training motorcycles.

“The important partnership between DDS and GOHS allows our agencies to continue to provide quality rider education and safety awareness messages across the state. We are proud of the significant achievements that this cooperative spirit has produced.” said DDS Commissioner Gregory C. Dozier.

The Georgia Motorcycle Safety Program offers basic motorcycle training for new riders or those who want to learn how to ride a motorcycle safely in today’s traffic mix. Students do not need a motorcycle since the Program provides both a motorcycle and a helmet. After the course, successful graduates receive a license waiver card that exempts them from both the written and on-cycle skills tests at a DDC Customer Service Center.