Law enforcement joins hands to save lives - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Law enforcement joins hands to save lives

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August 30, 2006

Grady County-  The Labor Day weekend is traditionally one of the deadliest.  Last year in Georgia alone, 15 people were killed and 602 more were injured in highway crashes.  Law enforcement from Georgia and Florida met at the state line between Grady and Leon Counties Wednesday to kick off their 15th annual Hands Across the Border. It's a unified stance in the fight to save lives.

This simulator is a powerful reminder of what can happen when you don't wear your seat belt.

"In 2000, 2001 we had a 39 percent increase in fatalities in the state of Georgia involving pickup trucks and that's a big increase and we'd like to cut it down," said Captain William Hires, Jesup Police Department.

Law enforcement hopes these images are what motorists will be thinking of when they make plans this upcoming holiday weekend.

"What they need to remember is law enforcement is going to be out in force this holiday season, and we're going to be looking for not only the impaired driver, but also seat belt violations, as well as speeders," said Ricky Rich, Governor's Office of Highway Safety, Division Director.

The evidence is clear, if you're not buckled in, you put your chances of survival, whether it's an accident, impaired driver, or someone speeding at risk. It's a lesson this simulator's creator learned first hand.

"I lost my child, my first born child, 19 years ago in a one vehicle roll over crash," said Hires.

By demonstrating what can happen he hopes others will remember to buckle up as they travel Georgia or Florida's highways.

"Thousands of law enforcement officers across the country are going to be combating impaired driving this holiday and Georgia's just one part of that that's going to make that happen," said Rich.

Law enforcement hopes it will cause others to think twice before drinking and driving or traveling at unsafe speed and possibly endangering another. 

Alcohol is involved in a third of the traffic crashes that kill more than 1,600 Georgians each year.

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