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Buckle Up During the Holidays

November 16, 2012
A toddler, safely buckled in her car seat, gazes lovingly on her stuffed bear.

Here in Georgia we’re about to enter one of the busiest travel seasons of the year. That’s right - it’s time to pack up the kids and the pumpkin pie and hit the road for Thanksgiving with the family. To make sure everyone gets home safely, I want to remind anyone who will be travelling through Georgia to buckle up before getting on the road.

Leading up to Thanksgiving, law enforcement across the state will be making sure everyone is buckled up during the annual fall campaign of Click it or Ticket. While the holidays mean an increased risk of danger on the roads, a saved life could be as simple as a secured seatbelt. In 2010 alone, seat belts saved more than 12,500 lives nationwide. In fact, federal research shows that proper seat belt use reduces the risk of fatal injury to front seat passengers by an amazing 45 percent. Similarly, it also reduces the risk of serious injury by 50 percent.

Unfortunately, people in Georgia still aren’t buckling up like they should…every trip, every time. Just this past summer, nearly 68,000 people across the state were cited for not wearing a seat belt during a 100-day summer enforcement campaign. Consequently, the lack of a properly buckled seat belt continues to be a factor in traffic fatalities statewide.

The fact is, seat belt use is one of the few things we have control over in our lives. Neglecting it should never be a factor in our deaths.

About the Author

Harris Blackwood, director of the Governor’s Office of Highway SafetyHarris Blackwood was appointed director of the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety by Gov. Nathan Deal on January 10, 2011. Prior to his appointment, he served as a senior advisor to the governor’s campaign and communications director for the inaugural activities.

A seventh generation Georgian, Director Blackwood is an Atlanta native who grew up in the Walton County community of Social Circle.  It was there, as a teenager, he launched his career in communications as a reporter for nearby radio stations and newspapers.

His previous experience in state government includes management positions with the Georgia Department of Corrections and the Stone Mountain Memorial Association.