ATLANTA — For the fifth year in a row, fatalities on Georgia highways dropped substantially last year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the State Department of Transportation. A total of 1,244 highway deaths occurred in Georgia in 2010, according to statistics finalized and published this month.
That represents a decline of 3.7 percent, or 48 deaths, from 2009’s 1,292 total and continues an improving trend that began in 2006.
Traffic fatalities on Georgia roads in 2010 were down 500 individuals from the record 1,744 deaths that occurred in 2005. Fatalities in 2011 also remain below 2010 numbers through Dec. 19 — 62 less than that date a year ago.
“While we wish no one was ever even injured on our highways, we are most gratified by this decline in fatalities,” Georgia DOT Commissioner Keith Golden said. “This dramatic improvement is a direct result of the Department’s Strategic Highway Safety Plan that began in 2006. That plan features data-driven emphasis areas focused on such things as affordable engineering solutions, enforcement, motorcycle safety, seatbelt use and impaired driving.
“We’re concentrating on raising public awareness and also on engineering and construction improvements — things like improved roadway drainage, center median cable barriers, rumble strips and driver recovery zones. They are making a difference and saving lives.”
Each day, hundreds of Georgia Department of Transportation employees and contractors work on dozens of highway, bridge and intersection improvements throughout the state.
Their work often brings them and heavy machinery in close proximity to travel lanes. Fifty-seven Georgia DOT personnel and many more motorists, passengers and contractors’ workers have been killed in highway work zone accidents since 1973. Help prevent these tragedies by slowing down, being especially attentive and cautious while passing through construction work zones and always driving responsibly.
For information on the DOT, go to www.dot.ga.gov.