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8/31/2016: North Carolina Motorists Buckling Up in Record Numbers

North Carolina Motorists Buckling Up in Record Numbers

Posted 8/31/2016 10:43:24 AM

Raleigh - Governor Pat McCrory announced that a record 91.7 percent of North Carolinians are buckling up and regularly using seat belts, according to recent a survey conducted by RTI International. “North Carolina is a leader in educating the public about the dangers of not wearing a seat belt while in the car, and our rising seat belt usage rate reflects the state’s ongoing commitment to roadway safety and saving lives,” Governor McCrory said. “We will continue to do all we can to educate the public about the dangers of not buckling up to prevent traffic-related injuries and fatalities.” In 1993, North Carolina became the first state to implement Click It or Ticket, an education and enforcement program to remind motorists that wearing a seat belt can save your life. The program aims to increase driver seat belt usage rates and reduce fatalities across North Carolina and has yielded significant results over the years. “Our seat belt usage rate shows that more than nine out of ten North Carolinians are taking the time to buckle up when getting in a motor vehicle,” said Don Nail, director of the N.C. Governor’s Highway Safety Program. “We will continue educating drivers and passengers on the lifesaving importance of wearing your seat belt. North Carolina’s goal is for every seat to buckle up every time.” RTI International conducted the seat belt survey in 25 counties in June to determine North Carolina’s overall seat belt usage rate, as required by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The selection of counties was based on fatality and road segment data.  According to the National Occupant Protection Use Survey conducted annually by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the national seat belt use rate in 2015 was 88.5 percent, up from 86.7 in 2014. North Carolina’s seat belt use rate last year was 89.9 percent. Under North Carolina law, all drivers and passengers must have a seat belt fastened when a vehicle is being driven on a street or highway. Failure to wear a seat belt carries a fine of $179, and child passenger violations carries a fine of $263. ***NCDOT***  
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8/19/2016: State Launches Aggressive Drunk Driving Enforcement Campaign

State Launches Aggressive Drunk Driving Enforcement Campaign

Posted 8/19/2016 10:43:52 AM

State Launches Aggressive Drunk Driving Enforcement Campaign  Booze It & Lose It to Run Through Labor Day Raleigh – The N.C. Department of Transportation and Governor’s Highway Safety Program intend to make roadways safer for North Carolina’s residents and visitors by cracking down on drunk drivers during the Labor Day holiday. State officials kicked off the annual Labor Day Booze It & Lose It campaign, which runs from Aug. 19 to Sept. 5, at the conclusion of the North Carolina Highway Safety Symposium. “We want everyone in North Carolina to enjoy this Labor Day holiday and make safe choices,” said N.C. Transportation Secretary Nick Tennyson. “Our ultimate goal is to eliminate alcohol-related accidents and fatalities by getting impaired drivers off the road through education and enforcement efforts.” During last year’s Booze It & Lose It campaign, state and local law enforcement arrested 3,523 impaired drivers through more than 13,500 sobriety checkpoints across the state. State law makes it illegal to drive with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher. The mission of the Booze It & Lose It campaign aligns closely with Governor Pat McCrory’s NC Vision Zero initiative, which aims to eliminate all traffic-related injuries and fatalities through strategic coordinated efforts with public and private partners in traffic safety. “Drunk driving is selfish and dangerous,” said Don Nail, director of the Governor’s Highway Safety Program. “We need everyone to not only make safe decisions for themselves, but also to look out for others. If you know someone is about to drive impaired, take their keys and help them make safe travel arrangements. If you see an impaired driver on the road, contact the police immediately.” In conjunction with the enforcement campaign, state officials will utilize the “Be Smarter Than That” campaign to provide easy access to safe transportation options for members of the public who plan to drink alcohol. The website BeSmarterThanThat.com allows users to designate a sober driver, download a ride app, find public transportation options, and find a taxi based on their location. ***NCDOT***
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7/12/2016: GHSP Launches Website to Remind Drivers to 'Be Smarter Than That'

GHSP Launches Website to Remind Drivers to 'Be Smarter Than That'

Posted 7/12/2016 10:44:58 AM

RALEIGH – The North Carolina Governor's Highway Safety Program (GHSP) has launched a new website, BeSmarterThanThat.com, to educate citizens about the risks of drunk driving and to suggest alternative means of transportation to prevent it from happening. The website works across all mobile devices and can be used to call a cab or phone a friend, as well as to find public transportation based on a user's current location. It can also link to social media accounts to enable a user who has been drinking to reach out to friends for a safe way home. Last year, 418 people died in North Carolina as a result of crashes involving drunk drivers. So far this year, there have been 152 drunk-driving fatalities on state roads. Although law enforcement officers work diligently to remove drunk drivers from roadways, the best way to keep citizens safe is to prevent drunk driving from happening in the first place. "The safety of our citizens is my top priority, and we are developing and using new methods through technology to achieve this goal," said Governor Pat McCrory. "Anyone that plans to drink should take advantage of BeSmarterThanThat.com to find a safe way home. With this new website, making the right decision – not to drink and drive – is simple." Governor McCrory's "N.C. Vision Zero" initiative aims to eliminate traffic-related injuries and fatalities through coordinated efforts of multiple partners, including law enforcement, to reduce risky driving behavior. BeSmarterThanThat.com is another powerful tool to reduce drunk-driving fatalities in the state. "Everyone has a responsibility to themselves and their fellow motorists to practice safe driving habits," GHSP Director Don Nail said. "Our new website, BeSmarterThanThat.com, makes it easier than ever to contact a sober driver through social media, take advantage of a ride service or use public transportation. If you plan to drink alcohol then plan a way to get home safely in advance." It is important to make responsible, safe personal decisions, but it is also important to look out for others. "If you know someone who is about to drive impaired take their keys and help them make safe travel arrangements to their destination," Nail said. "If you see an impaired driver on the road contact local law enforcement immediately. You could be the difference between life and death." Join GHSP in staying safe and in preventing drunk driving. Don't Drink and Drive. You're Smarter Than That. ***NCDOT***  
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7/11/2016: Annual Operation Firecracker Removes Drunk Drivers From N.C. Roadways

Annual Operation Firecracker Removes Drunk Drivers From N.C. Roadways

Posted 7/11/2016 10:45:14 AM

Raleigh – State and local law enforcement officers arrested 1,729 driving impaired drivers during the annual Governor’s Highway Safety Program’s (GHSP) Booze It & Lose It – Operation Firecracker enforcement campaign of June 24 through July 4.  More than 1,600 of those arrests were alcohol related, with another 125 drug related. Over the enforcement period law enforcement agencies across North Carolina issued 63,218 traffic and criminal violations during 4,635 sobriety-checking stations and saturation patrols. “I am thankful for the work North Carolina’s law enforcement officers did during the holiday to keep those traveling the state's roadways safe and to keep the Fourth of July a time for celebration of our nation’s birth,” said Don Nail, director of the GHSP. “It is the goal of Governor McCrory’s Vision Zero campaign to reach zero fatalities on our roads in North Carolina and the Booze It & Lose It campaign helps complement this goal.” The top five counties for DWI arrests during the Booze It & Lose It – Operation Firecracker enforcement campaign were: Wake County – 124 Robeson County - 116 Guilford County – 105 Mecklenburg County – 87 Cumberland County - 83  The N.C. Department of Transportation and GHSP promoted sober driving thorough its “Don’t Drink and Drive. You’re Smarter Than That.” marketing campaign. The campaign placed marketing message in targeted bars, movie theaters, and sidewalks to remind motorists to plan a way home in advance before drinking.  A new website, BeSmarterThanThat.com, was launched to complement enforcement efforts. The website offers information about impaired driving and resources to find readily available means to get individuals home safely after drinking —including calling a friend, using a taxi, taking public transportation, or designating a driver. For more information regarding Booze It & Lose It activities and county totals, contact Jonathan Bandy at (919) 814-3657 or visit the GHSP website. ***NCDOT***  
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6/13/2016: Annual Click It Or Ticket Campaign Campaign Yields 8,483 Seat Belt Violations

Annual Click It Or Ticket Campaign Campaign Yields 8,483 Seat Belt Violations

Posted 6/13/2016 10:45:49 AM

RALEIGH – The Governor’s Highway Safety Program and the N.C. Department of Transportation announced the annual Click It or Ticket campaign, which ran from May 23 to June 5, resulted in 8,483 seat belt and 873 child passenger safety citations being issued to drivers and passengers.   “The safety of everyone who travels our roadways is a top priority of Governor McCrory’s agenda,” said Transportation Secretary Nick Tennyson. “The Click It or Ticket campaign reminds us that while we continue to make significant progress, we still have work to do to encourage passengers to buckle up in every seat, every time.” Over the enforcement period, state and local law enforcement agencies held 6,343 checkpoints and stepped-up patrols, issuing 77,622 traffic and criminal violations. The top five counties for seat belt violations were: Robeson - 446 Wake - 368 Wayne - 366 Guilford - 361 Mecklenburg - 338 As of June 3, there have been 173 unbelted fatalities in North Carolina this year. That is a 13.1 percent increase in the number from the same time period last year. Forty-two percent of all fatalities in 2015 were the result of a person making the choice to not use a seat belt. "As the summer travel season begins, we want to remind passengers that it is the law to wear your seat belt, regardless of where you are sitting,” said Don Nail, director of the Governor’s Highway Safety Program. “Buckling up takes three seconds and is a simple action that could save your life.” Increased enforcement efforts and public awareness campaigns are being used to get the state’s seat belt usage rate back above 90 percent in 2016, after it dipped just below that figure in 2015.  A seat belt survey is currently being conducted in 25 North Carolina counties to help determine North Carolina’s overall seat belt usage rate, as required by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The survey counties are: Alamance, Brunswick, Buncombe, Cabarrus, Caldwell, Catawba, Columbus, Cumberland, Davidson, Durham, Forsyth, Franklin, Gaston, Guilford, Harnett, Johnston, Mecklenburg, Nash, Onslow, Robeson, Rockingham, Rowan, Sampson, Wake, Wayne. For county by county totals and more information regarding the Click It or Ticket program, contact Jonathan Bandy at 919-618-1974, or visit the GHSP website.  ***NCDOT***
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