The Long County Sheriff’s Office and the Ludowici Police Department have stepped up patrols and road stops in recent weeks to support the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety’s Click-It-Or-Ticket campaign and Summer HEAT initiative.
On May 20, law-enforcement agencies across the state began to ramp up their presences on Georgia’s highways. Through Sept. 2, they’ll work to ensure that all drivers and passengers are wearing seat belts and obeying traffic laws.
Long County Sheriff Craig Nobles said traffic increases during the summer because families are going on vacations and students are out of school.
“During the summertime, we see a lot more young people on the roads. Teens are driving because school is out and many are home from college. Many wear their seat belt, but a lot of them don’t. We are really going to be looking out for them and everyone else who isn’t buckled up,” Nobles said.
Due to motorists and passengers who weren’t properly secured, unrestrained crash deaths across the nation increased last year for the first time in five years. According to the GOHS, 10,335 people who weren’t wearing seat belts lost their lives in 2012. That same year, though, 12,174 lives were saved by seat belts.
Coastal Area Traffic Enforcement Coordinator Capt. Luther Hires said that Georgia’s goal for 2014 is to keep the total death toll below 1,000.
LPD Capt. Robert Poppell said police officers also will do everything they can to ensure motorists are buckled in and sober.
“We will be enforcing the seat-belt law and also looking out for anyone who appears to be driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs,” he said.
Georgia Department of Public Safety Commissioner Col. Mark McDonough said his agency simply is striving to protect everyone on the road.
“As you travel, remember to always buckle up, properly restrain children, watch your speed, avoid distractions inside your vehicle and use a designated driver if alcohol consumption will be part of your festivities,” he said.