“Click on it to avoid a ticket” before hitting the road this weekend
State soldiers and local law enforcement are calling on everyone to make the summer a safe travel season this year by remembering to click on their seat belts or risk being given a ticket.
With many drivers expected to be on the road over Memorial Day weekend, officers share personal stories of seat belts that saved their lives or the lives of others to show why we all need to be. attach to every trip.
MP Brandon Farmer is a member of the Newton County Sheriff’s Office Team for Aggressive Traffic Enforcement (HEAT). Brandon credits a seat belt for saving his life in an accident that killed two of his friends when he was 17. His two friends were not wearing seat belts and one of them was thrown from the truck on impact with another vehicle. Losing his friends almost 20 years ago is always on his mind when it comes to informing a family that a loved one has been killed in a traffic accident.
“My message when I stop someone for not wearing a seat belt is you don’t want to have to go through what I’ve been through,” Farmer said. “There are mistakes you just can’t get over, and choosing not to wear a seat belt could one day cost someone their life.
Corporal Kris Herrick of the Crisp County Sheriff’s Office awards a seat belt that saved his life in a crash in his patrol car in 2008 while working for the Cordele Police Department. Cpl. Herrick was uninjured when his patrol car crashed into a culvert, flew over a vehicle that retreated in front of him, then landed in the median. Investigations by Georgia State Patrol and insurance companies have determined Cpl. Herrick would have been thrown from his car if he hadn’t worn his seat belt. Surviving this crash drove Cpl. Herrick to become a certified child safety seat technician.
“Usually I don’t give a warning to those I find on the road who aren’t wearing seat belts because I know I wouldn’t be alive today if I didn’t wear one during my accident. », Cpl. Herrick said. “I share my story whenever I can with the hope that it may someday save a life, and when I have time on the road, I explain how seat belts are designed to save lives. “
Cpl. Kris Hall is part of the Habersham County Sheriff’s Office HEAT team working to reduce the number of people killed in traffic crashes at the popular tourist site in the mountains of northeast Georgia. Cpl. Hall was called into an accident in April this year involving an SUV and a pickup truck on a four-lane highway where the speed limit is 65 miles per hour. A family of six, including four children under the age of 5, were not seriously injured, while the driver of the truck, who was not wearing a seat belt, suffered several fractures and was taken to a hospital local.
“After seeing so many accidents in 26 years of policing, it’s good to know that this family survived because mother and father wore their seat belts and made sure their children were properly buckled up. Corporal Hall said. The unit and other agencies conduct regular seat belt, distracted driving and sobriety checks, and our law enforcement efforts have helped reduce the number of people killed in road crashes by 67%. the road in Habersham County for the past five years. “
With Memorial Day Travel Weekend starting Friday, Georgia State Patrol and local law enforcement are working to reverse the rise in the number of people killed in traffic crashes in Georgia over the past year.
Preliminary data from the Georgia Department of Transportation shows that the number of people killed in road crashes in the first four months of 2021 is 18% higher than the same period last year, and 60% of people killed in traffic accidents so far this year in Georgia were not wearing seat belts.
The 2021 Memorial Day vacation travel window begins at 6:00 p.m. on Friday, May 28 and ends at 11:59 p.m. on Monday, May 31. According to the Georgia State Patrol, 15 people were killed in traffic accidents during the 78-hour Memorial Day holiday weekend last year.
“No one thinks they’ll be in an accident, but a seat belt is the best protection you have in your vehicle in the event of an accident,” said Allen Poole, director of the governor’s office of road safety. “It doesn’t matter if you are traveling out of town or into town this summer, make the smart choice to wear your seat belt on every trip.”
Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows that 73% of people in the United States survive serious traffic crashes by wearing a seat belt correctly. Passengers who properly wear a seat belt in the front seat of a passenger car can reduce their risk of fatal injury in an accident by 45 percent, and that number is 60 percent for those in a light truck.
The Governor’s Office of Traffic Safety, Georgia State Patrol, and local law enforcement provide the following advice for those traveling on Memorial Day weekend:
- Allow extra time for your trip.
- Make sure everyone is buckled up before you hit the road.
- Program the navigation devices before your trip and find a safe place to park off the road if you need to change your destination.
- Take breaks on long journeys and change drivers if possible.
- Never get behind the wheel while drinking and always plan a trip with a sober designated driver.