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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 12:30:00 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 11:52:42 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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5/23/2016: NC Launches Click It or Ticket Campaign to Encourage Vehicle Passenger Safety and Save Lives

NC Launches Click It or Ticket Campaign to Encourage Vehicle Passenger Safety and Save Lives

Posted 5/23/2016 3:17:55 PM

Raleigh – North Carolina today kicked off the 23rd year of the state’s Click It or Ticket education and enforcement program to remind motorists that wearing a seat belt can save your life. The campaign aims to increase driver seat belt usage rates and reduce fatalities across North Carolina and has yielded significant results over the years. In fact, between 2010 – 2014, an average of 545 lives were saved per year due to the use of seat belts in passenger vehicles. “We are always working to improve the safety of North Carolina motorists and wearing your seat belt is one of the easiest ways to stay safe on the road,” said N.C. Transportation Secretary Nick Tennyson. “The Click It or Ticket campaign reminds both drivers and passengers that seat belts save lives.” Governor Pat McCrory has stressed the importance of using seat belts, and cited his recent accident in California after the Super Bowl as a good example. He was a passenger in the back seat of a California Highway Patrol car that was rear-ended. The governor credited wearing his seat belt as the reason he was not seriously injured. Secretary Tennyson joined Highway Patrol Commander Colonel Bill Grey, Governor’s Highway Safety Program Director Don Nail and nearly two hundred law enforcement officers to kickoff the campaign. Robert Hassell, president of N.C. Association of Chiefs of Police, and trauma surgeon Dr. Miren Schinco also spoke to the audience about the importance of seat belt safety. "As the summer travel season begins, we want to remind passengers that it is the law to wear your seat belt in every seat,” said Don Nail, director of the Governor’s Highway Safety Program. “If you fail to buckle up, at the very least you could receive fines of up to $179 but ultimately you could lose your life if you are involved in a crash.” During the annual national Click It or Ticket enforcement campaign, which begins today, Monday, May 23, and continues through Monday, June 5, motorists will see an increased presence of law enforcement officers day and night across the state to keep those who drive our highways safe. This enforcement period comes ahead of the Memorial Day holiday, one of the busiest travel weekends of the year. "As Memorial Day approaches, traffic will increase throughout North Carolina. We want to make sure everyone has a safe and enjoyable holiday weekend," said Colonel Grey. "Please fasten your seat belts, obey the speed limit and don’t drink and drive. The choices you make can be difference between life and death.” In 2015, 415 people were killed and an additional 436 others were seriously injured who were not using seat belts in motor vehicle crashes in North Carolina. During that same year, 41.8 percent of passenger vehicle fatalities were unrestrained. North Carolina law requires all passengers in a vehicle to be properly restrained. Nevertheless, many backseat passengers believe they do not need to use a seat belt. In fact, a recent U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) report confirmed that 22 percent of backseat passengers do not buckle up. The most recent available data revealed that in 2014, 48 percent of backseat passengers in North Carolina that were killed were unrestrained. The DOT estimates that people not wearing a seat belt in either the front or back seat of a vehicle are 30 times more likely to be ejected during a crash. Another sobering statistic estimates that in fatal crashes, more than three out of four people who are ejected die from their injuries.  To complement the enforcement efforts, the N.C. Department of Transportation and GHSP produced several public service announcements to stress the importance of wearing a seat belt in Every seat, Every time. The advertisements are running on both traditional and non-traditional media through the end of May. Governor Pat McCrory has also proclaimed May as Seat Belt Safety Awareness Month. To help you and your loved ones stay safe this Memorial Day holiday, we recommend the following safety tips to drivers and passengers as they travel: Buckle Up. Every Seat. Every Time; Don’t drink and drive. Make sure you have a sober designated driver; Obey the posted speed limit; Keep a safe following distance; Turn on your headlights in the rain; and Put away all distractions including cell phones - it can wait. For more information regarding Click It or Ticket activities, contact Jonathan Bandy at (919) 814-3657 or visit the GHSP website. ***NCDOT***
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5/5/2016: Governor McCrory Proclaims May As Seat Belt Safety Awareness Month

Governor McCrory Proclaims May As Seat Belt Safety Awareness Month

Posted 5/5/2016 3:18:12 PM

Raleigh – Governor Pat McCrory has proclaimed May as Seat Belt Safety Awareness Month to remind vehicle occupants to buckle up in every seat, every time. Regardless of vehicle type, time of day, or seating position, wearing a seat belt is the single most effective way to reduce fatalities in motor vehicle crashes. In 2015, 42 percent of passenger vehicle fatalities in North Carolina were drivers or passengers not wearing seat belts.  The N.C. Governor’s Highway Safety Program’s (GHSP) 2015 Annual Statewide Seat Belt Survey reported that 89.9 percent of front seat drivers and passengers wear their seat belt. Unfortunately, unrestrained serious injuries increased in North Carolina from 395 in 2014 to 436 in 2015. Unrestrained fatalities also increased from 374 in 2014 to 415 in 2015. “Unrestrained fatalities could be prevented by taking three seconds when you get into a vehicle – by the simple act of wearing a seat belt,” said Don Nail, director of the GHSP. “Our message is simple, buckle up in every seat, every time.” North Carolina law requires occupants in the front and rear seats of a passenger vehicle to be properly restrained by using a seat belt. Many passengers feel that they are safer in the rear seat and do not need to wear a seat belt. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates 58 percent of rear seat passenger fatalities were unrestrained in 2014 compared to the 47 percent in the front seat.  The N.C. Department of Transportation (NCDOT) and the GHSP in partnership with state and local law enforcement will conduct their annual “Click It or Ticket” enforcement campaign in conjunction with the national mobilization around the Memorial Day holiday.  “Time after time, we see the deadly results that come from drivers and passengers refusing to wear a seat belt,” said Don Nail. “Wearing a seat belt is one of the most important steps in increasing survivability in a crash. Law enforcement will stop those who are not buckled up – strict enforcement now means lives saved later.”  To help share the “Click It or Ticket” message, the GHSP, in conjunction with the NCDOT, will launch a creative marketing campaign to remind travelers to “Click It or Ticket. Every Seat. Every Time. It’s The Law.”   ***NCDOT***
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5/3/2016: Governor McCrory Proclaims May As Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month

Governor McCrory Proclaims May As Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month

Posted 5/3/2016 3:18:33 PM

Raleigh – Governor Pat McCrory has proclaimed May as Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month to encourage drivers to share the road with those riding motorcycles and to remind motorcyclists to practice safe riding. The N.C. Department of Transportation (NCDOT), N.C. Governor’s Highway Safety Program (GHSP) will promote awareness of motorcyclists during May to help prevent motorcycle crashes, deaths and injuries on North Carolina roadways. Motorcycle related injuries decreased in North Carolina with 3,618 in 2014 and 3,359 in 2015.  Crashes involving motorcyclists also decreased from 3,783 in 2014 to 3,641 in 2015. However, motorcycle fatalities have increased 14.2 percent from 2014 (148) to 2015 (169). As the weather gets warmer and the days get longer, more people are on the roads, including more than 469,000 drivers licensed in North Carolina with a motorcycle endorsement.  “We want motorists to understand motorcycle safety challenges such as size and visibility, and riding practices like downshifting and weaving to be able to anticipate and respond to motorcyclist behavior,” said Don Nail, director of the GHSP. Our message is for all drivers and riders: Share the responsibility of keeping our roads safe—always share the road.” The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that 1,630 lives were saved in 2014 because of proper helmet usage, but another 715 lives could have been saved if helmets had been worn. A motorcycle rider not wearing a helmet is five times more likely to sustain a critical head injury than a helmeted rider. North Carolina’s law requires all motorcyclists to wear a Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 218 helmet.  The GHSP BikeSafe North Carolina program invites motorcyclists to participate in a free “Rider Skills Day” class that offer an assessment of current driving skills and advice to help make their experience as a motorcyclist safer and more enjoyable. For more information, including a full schedule of classes, visit the BikeSafe North Carolina website. The NCDOT and GHSP offers the following important safety tips to motorcyclists and other drivers: Motorcyclists: Wear a DOT-compliant helmet and other protective gear Obey all traffic laws and be properly licensed Use hand and turn signals at every lane change or turn Wear brightly colored clothes, gear, and reflective tape to increase visibility Obey the posted speed limit Never ride distracted or impaired Other drivers: Share the road. Motorcyclists have the right to a full lane Stay alert. Be aware that motorcycles can be easily hidden in a car's blind spot; take an extra moment to thoroughly check traffic when changing lanes, especially at intersections Always signal when changing lanes or merging with traffic Keep a safe distance. Allow more following distance – three to four seconds – behind motorcycles Be cautious. Be aware that not all turn signals on a motorcycle are self-canceling, thus some riders sometimes forget to turn them off after a turn or lane change Obey the posted speed limit Never drive distracted or impaired View the proclamation here. ***NCDOT***
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