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News Article

NEWS RELEASE: Lack of Seat Belt Use Results in 255 Fatalities on Alabama Roadways in 2014

NEWS RELEASE
February 12, 2015
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

For more information contact:

Donna Jackson, Drive Safe Alabama Coordinator
Alabama Department of Transportation
jacksondo@dot.state.al.us
334.353.6534

Sgt. Steve Jarrett, Public Information/Education Unit
Alabama Law Enforcement Agency
steve.jarrett@dps.alabama.gov
334.242.4445

Lack of Seat Belt Use Results in 255 Fatalities on Alabama Roadways in 2014
ALDOT's Drive Safe Alabama Initiative Seeks to Reduce Crashes, Injuries and Fatalities

(Montgomery, Ala.) – Crash activity reports from the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) show 255 people who were not wearing seat belts died in traffic accidents on Alabama’s roadways in 2014.

The latest information shows 511 people were killed in traffic accidents investigated by Alabama State Troopers in 2014, down from 515 fatalities in 2013. Of the 511 crash victims, 405 were in vehicles where seat belts were available. Seventy-nine percent of those killed had a seat belt available, but chose not to wear it.

Preliminary data from ALEA indicates there have already been 44 fatalities on Alabama’s roadways in 2015. Seat belts were available for 37 victims; however, 29 victims were not properly restrained.

“Troopers continue to see lives needlessly lost because the choice is made to not wear a seat belt,” said Sgt. Steve Jarrett of the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency.

In an effort to emphasize the importance of wearing a seat belt and other safe driving habits, the Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT) has recently refreshed its Drive Safe Alabama traffic safety initiative by launching a new website and introducing several other marketing tools.

ALDOT’s Drive Safe Alabama marketing plan will educate drivers on many highway safety topics. Efforts will focus on the four main causes of crash-related injuries and fatalities in Alabama – failure to wear seat belts, speeding, distracted driving and DUI.

Website
DriveSafeAlabama.org is a comprehensive online resource, providing information to drivers, cyclists and pedestrians on how to choose safety first on Alabama’s roadways. The site is designed to ensure easy navigation, includes optimization for today’s web browsers, and automatically resizes content for tablets and mobile devices. The website includes:

  • Keys to Safety: Information and marketing materials for the top safety campaigns promoted by Drive Safe Alabama
  • Serious Stats: Alabama crash statistics
  • Learning Center: Safe driving quiz, safety pledge, links to traffic laws, Top 10 Safe Driver Habits and resources for educators
  • Around Alabama: ALDOT’s public information contacts and how to request a Drive Safe Alabama speaker for events
  • Safety Alliances: Safety partners that help keep Alabama citizens and roadways safe
  • News Hub: Traffic safety news and an archive of the Safety Spotlight newsletters

Social Media
In addition to the information and resources provided at DriveSafeAlabama.org, ALDOT has also launched a Drive Safe Alabama presence on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and YouTube.

Television & Radio
New 15-second TV spots focus on each of the four primary safety initiatives. A 30-second TV spot encompasses all four main initiatives. Radio spots were also produced for seat belts, distracted driving, motorcycle safety and work zone safety.

Community
ALDOT is also sharing the Drive Safe Alabama message through community outreach. Recent partnerships include marketing opportunities with the Alabama High School Athletic Association, Auburn IMG Sports Marketing, Broadview Media and Crimson Tide Sports Marketing.

“Safer roadways start with each one of us making a commitment to be safe drivers,” said ALDOT Transportation Director John Cooper. “Through Drive Safe Alabama, we will help educate drivers and motivate them to change their driving habits.”

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About Drive Safe Alabama
Drive Safe Alabama is ALDOT’s branded traffic safety marketing campaign. It was created from the 2012 edition of the Strategic Highway Safety Plan, a document required by the Federal Highway Administration.

The goal of Drive Safe Alabama is to strengthen Alabama’s highway safety culture. By providing safe driving information through online resources and educational opportunities, ALDOT aims to reduce crash-related injuries and fatalities on Alabama’s roadways. Learn more at DriveSafeAlabama.org.