Georgia Sees Improvements In Traffic And Alcohol Deaths As 2011 Data Released

Thursday, December 13, 2012

A federal study released Thursday shows Georgia ranks below the national average and Southeastern states in alcohol-related traffic fatalities for 2011.

The data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shows that from 2010 to 2011, the state experienced 24 fewer traffic deaths, which accounts for a 1.9 percent reduction; and 22 fewer alcohol-impaired driving deaths, which represents a 7.4% reduction. Georgia was shown to be five percent better than the national average of total reduction in alcohol-related fatalities.

“This data just further indicates that Georgia’s aggressive enforcement of DUI law is working,” said Harris Blackwood, director of the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety. “But this good news doesn’t mean we’ll ease up on our state’s impaired drivers. We have more work to do and we’ll continue to crack down on DUI’s 365 days a year.”

Overall from 2010 to 2011, the nation experienced 632 fewer traffic fatalities, which represents a 1.9 percent reduction. There were also 258 fewer alcohol-related driving deaths, which represents a 2.5 percent reduction.

Georgia, however, is still on track to experience an increase in fatalities for 2012 for the first time in six years. As of Thursday, Georgia has experienced 67 more traffic fatalities than at the same time last year. In total, the state experienced 1,236 traffic deaths in 2011.

These statistics are exactly why the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety (GOHS) is adding a special message to its annual holiday campaign of Operation Zero Tolerance, which begins Friday. In addition to reminding Georgia motorists that if they don’t drive sober, they’ll get pulled over, GOHS has also launched Operation Safe Holidays to ask our drivers to be extra careful on Georgia roads so the state doesn’t reach a six-year milestone of traffic deaths.

And statistics show, the holiday season isn’t just dangerous in Georgia. NHTSA data also shows that 2,597 people were killed in traffic crashes across the country in December 2010 and 775 of those were killed in crashes involving alcohol-impaired drivers.

While the loss of life is tragic enough, drunk driving can also create a tremendous financial burden. Statistics show that the average cost of a DUI can climb to nearly $10,000.

“The fact is that DUI’s are a drain on the state’s resources, the offender’s resources and the resources of any potential victim,” said Director Blackwood. “It’s imperative that Georgia motorists don’t continue their Christmas partying behind the wheel. Law enforcement all over the state will be cracking down on impaired drivers and they will not hesitate to send you to jail, even if it is Christmas.”

Georgia’s annual holiday campaign of Operation Zero Tolerance begins on Friday, and will last through New Year’s Day. For more information on enforcement activities in your community, contact your local law enforcement agency. For more information on Operation Zero Tolerance, visit www.gahighwaysafty.org


Erlanger Health System Offers Free Weight Loss Seminar And Webinar

Erlanger Health System Metabolic and Bariatric SurgeryCenter will host monthly seminars and live online webinars to discuss various solutions for encouraging and managing weight loss. Seminars will take place at  6 p.m.  at Erlanger on Volkswagen Drive and webinars will begin at 7  p.m. Obesity is a complex condition involving one’s ... (click for more)

Erlanger Income Still Rising, Though Expenses Going Up At Faster Pace

Erlanger Health System's income continues to rise, though for the last quarter expenses climbed at even a higher rate. Chief Financial Officer Britt Tabor reported that year-to-date net income from operations was $3.6 million, compared to a budgeted net income of $3.8 million. “Volume was a little soft, but we’re still right on target with our budget year-to-date.” he said. ... (click for more)

Partnership With Volkswagen To Establish $1 Million Science Lab Program

Volkswagen Chattanooga officials announced on Tuesday the establishment of a $1 million program that will allow all Hamilton County middle and high schools to apply for funds to create a science lab in their school. Named the Volkswagen eLabs, the program will allow students to gain access to emergent technologies, including automated manufacturing equipment, 3D printers, robotics, ... (click for more)

McReynolds, Brooks Arrested After Police Chase Ends In Crash On Monroe Street; Accord Had Been Stolen From Dealership

Marquis McReynolds, 25, and Jermichael Brooks, 23, were arrested after a police chase on Monday.   A task force including the ATF, FBI, and Chattanooga Police Department officers pursued a stolen vehicle. That pursuit resulted in a traffic crash and the arrest of two convicted felons.   The pursuit began at 5200 Highway 58 just after 7 p.m. after police ... (click for more)

City Officials Should Tour Our Roads - And Response (2)

As we near the election in March, now would be a good time for our city officials who are up for re-election to spend a little time exploring their realm.   I would invite them to take a scenic tour starting at Lake Resort Drive paying attention to the portion of the road which was recently repaired which now appears to be sliding back towards the lake again.  Follow ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Our Puzzling Women

After Rhonda Thurman left the “Enlightment” meeting of the Hamilton Country School Board Saturday afternoon, she must have been catching up on the news when she posted this message on her Facebook page: “I am really trying to understand. I am a woman and I cannot think of one "RIGHT" I do not have. Can someone enlighten me?” Not one person enlightened Rhonda because nobody could ... (click for more)