The nationwide campaign “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” begins this week and the state of Georgia is joining the effort. All too often, holiday festivities take a deadly turn when an individual chooses to drink alcohol and then get behind the wheel of a car. Last year, 415 people were killed in traffic crashes involving a drunk driver in the last half of December alone. This is why state highway safety offices across the country, including right here in Georgia, are working hard to keep drunk drivers off the roads this holiday season.
As part of the national “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” mobilization, state agencies are teaming up with their law enforcement partners to detect and deter drunk drivers through highly visible enforcement efforts – such as sobriety checkpoints and saturation patrols – coupled with strong public awareness campaigns. The national mobilization is organized by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and implemented by state highway safety offices with the support of local law enforcement and other organizations. It runs December 16th through January 2nd.
GHSA Executive Director Barbara Harsha says the following about the national drunk driving campaign…
Any person who considers drinking and driving should know that police are out in full force watching for them. The time for warnings has long passed. If you drive drunk this holiday season, there will be consequences.
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 “Drive Sober Or Get Pulled Over” enforcement mobilization runs Dec. 16th – Jan. 2nd. The Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety has created a smartphone application for iPhone and Android phones that will allow users to search their area for programs that provide safe and sober rides home. Social media is being employed through Facebook and Twitter to reach millions of 18-34-year-old, high-risk drivers.
Holiday driving can be especially dangerous for new teen drivers. Parents are encouraged to talk to their new drivers about the deadly consequences of drunk driving, especially during the dangerous holiday season. It might be a good idea to pull the keys from your new teen driver on New Years Eve. While your own teen may choose not to drink and drive, too many others don’t always make the same smart decision.
Johns Creek Driving School and Drive Smart Georgia offer the following safety tips for new teenage drivers:
- The longest 500 miles for teens & parents. A teenager’s first 500 miles of driving are the most dangerous. During that time, they’re 10 times more likely to crash than an adult.
- No friends in the car for the first 6 months. It’s the law in Georgia! The presence of one passenger doubles the fatal crash risk for a teen driver and the risk increases with each additional passenger, yet recent research shows that few teens recognize the impact passengers have on driver safety.
- 25% of accidents are caused by texting. Put your cell phone down!
- Lead by example. Most teens follow similar driving habits of their parents. So, drive the speed limit, don’t use your cell phone (reading emails included & even at stop lights) and keep it safe on the road.
- Don’t let your teen drive whenever they want. Teens with easy access to a vehicle are more likely to crash than those who have to “ask for permission” and have a more structured approach.
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