GDOT: Georgia road fatalities reach 'alarming rate'

GDOT: Georgia road fatalities reach 'alarming rate'

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Georgia's Department of Transportation officials are concerned about the increase in traffic fatalities.

They say there have been 109 fatalities in Region 4, which includes Albany so far for 2015.

It's 14 more than last year.

"District 4 had a downward trend compared to the other portion of the state but I saw the spike from the report in October and it is concerning and very alarming," said Chadwick Hartley.

The total number of traffic fatalities statewide so far this year is 1,065.

Last year at the same time, there was only 787.

"It seems that there would be less traffic on the road with it not being summer and the kids are back in school," said driver Bryan Duke.

According to GDOT most of these fatal crashes happen because of distracted driving.

"74 percent of all fatalities are people looking at cell phones, distraction of drivers. It's something with driver error," said Hartley.

Meanwhile, GDOT is working on projects like placing more rumble strips along roads to get the attention of distracted drivers, in hopes of decreasing road fatalities.

"Reflecting sheeting on our signs and striping, that makes the signs and the striping stand out more which should help," said Van Mason with GDOT.

Going into the Holiday season officials are watching closely and hope that people will take precautions when driving.

"Going into the holiday season be careful because all lives matter," warned Hartley.

Holiday fatalities have gone up as well.

According to the Georgia Department of Public Safety during the Labor Day weekend, there were 10 fatalities reported in 2014 and 14 deaths in 2015.

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