SAVANNAH, GA- The week of Thanksgiving, state and local law enforcement will be patrolling the Georgia highways and roads to make sure drivers are wearing their seat belts.
According to the Georgia Department of Public Safety, 20 people were killed in car collisions between last year’s 102-hour Thanksgiving holiday travel period. While Georgia has a 97 percent seat belt use rate, almost 60 percent of people killed in traffic accidents this year were not wearing their seat belts.
“I can’t say for certain that every one of them that would be wearing their seatbelts would have survived, but I sure do like the odds,” said Harris Blackwood, Director of the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety.
Georgia highway safety leaders parked Deputy Lamar Bowen’s patrol car near Signature Flight Support on Tuesday for a visual demonstration of a rollover crash. Bowen says he survived his nine-time rollover crash because he was wearing his seat belt.
“It’s that one thing you can control, I mean nobody else can do it for you. It’s the one thing that if you’ll do, it’ll keep you safe,” said Colonel Mark McDonough, Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Safety.
With millions of families traveling for the holidays, Georgia State Patrol is enforcing “click it or ticket,” a campaign to ensure every driver and passenger buckle up. They are also encouraging folks to call for another form of transportation if they’re planning on drinking and to avoid texting in the front seat.
“We want this to be a safe time for everybody, we want people to enjoy that time with their family, but more importantly, we want them to come back safely,” said Blackwood.