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12/22/2014: 20|20 Hindsight Series Remembers Lives Lost and Works to Prevent Future Tragedies

20|20 Hindsight Series Remembers Lives Lost and Works to Prevent Future Tragedies

Posted 12/22/2014 9:46:53 AM

RALEIGH – In the 20 years since “Booze It & Lose It” began in North Carolina, nearly 8,500 people have lost their lives in crashes involving alcohol. While even one death due to drunk driving is too many, the “Booze It & Lose It” campaign has undoubtedly prevented crashes and saved lives through strong enforcement and educational efforts centered on the dangers of drinking and driving. To commemorate the 20th anniversary of “Booze It & Lose It,” the N.C. Department of Transportation, the Governor’s Highway Safety Program and Mothers Against Drunk Driving partnered to produce 20|20 Hindsight, a powerful video series depicting the devastating impacts of drinking and driving. The series features 20 personal stories, each told from a different perspective by North Carolinians  whose lives have been affected by drunk driving in very different ways. They include mothers who lost children, law enforcement officers who are changing lives and people who work every day to overcome the consequences of deciding to drive drunk. Jenny and Jeremy Bruns tell their story as part of 20|20 Hindsight. Jeremy avoided serious injury during each of his nine deployments with the U.S. Army, only to lose both of his legs to a drunk driver in his front yard. Together, he and wife Jenny are committed to educating others about the fact that what happened to Jeremy is a preventable crime. “It’s ironic that you could spend that much time in a war zone and be fine, and at your home, you’re not safe,” he said. “If she [the drunk driver] had just made one simple decision not to get behind the wheel…it was totally unnecessary.” Kyle Morgan knows all too well what is at stake when you decide to drive after drinking alcohol. He lives with the consequences of his choice every day. Kyle is now paralyzed after driving drunk and crashing his SUV. “It was as if I had written down every single goal and achievement I wanted to complete in life, and I started checking them off one by one,” he explained. “The second I went out the window of that SUV, it was like I threw them out that window with me.” By sharing his story, Kyle hopes to help others avoid the often catastrophic outcomes of drunk driving. Like Kyle, Regina Delili remembers the moment her life changed forever due to the actions of a drunk driver. Her daughter Rachelle and Paul Maliska, Rachelle's coach and a father of five, died when their school activity bus was hit by a repeat DWI offender driving a tractor-trailer while drunk. Today, Regina works to keep Rachelle’s memory alive and make a difference through her death to ensure no other mother has to lose her child to a drunk driver. “When it comes to drinking and driving, it should never happen. If you’re faced with that choice, you have to think of the worst thing that could possibly happen,” saed Regina. “It affects all of us. It kills.” Unfortunately, these stories and the 17 others featured in the 20|20 Hindsight series are all too common. While the number of drunk driving deaths in North Carolina has steadily declined year after year, crashes involving alcohol are still claiming lives across the state. More than 300 people have been killed this year alone in alcohol-related crashes statewide.  To continue to remind motorists of the dangers of drinking and driving and the consequences of getting caught, NCDOT and GHSP are promoting the 20|20 Hindsight series in conjunction with the Holiday “Booze It & Lose It” enforcement campaign, which began Dec. 12 and runs through Jan. 4, 2015. A new public service announcement featuring several of the people from the series is airing across the state to remind North Carolinians that if they make the decision to drink and drive, they will get caught, day or night. Visit BoozeItandLoseIt.org to see the stories and learn the lessons. In addition to the 20|20 Hindsight series, the website features the new PSA, a history of “Booze It & Lose It,” national and statewide statistics, safety tips and an overview of current NC DWI laws. For additional information about “Booze It & Lose It,” contact Heather Jeffreys at (919) 707-2665 or visit the GHSP website. (Editor’s Note: Each story in the 20|20 Hindsight series, as well as the 30-second PSA, is available for download here.) ***NCDOT***
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12/12/2014: 20th Anniversary of “Booze It & Lose It” Commemorated with New Website, Video Series

20th Anniversary of “Booze It & Lose It” Commemorated with New Website, Video Series

Posted 12/12/2014 9:47:27 AM

RALEIGH – The holidays are a joyous time of year often celebrated by gathering with friends and family. Too often, though, people make the decision to get behind the wheel after drinking alcohol. This choice can lead to deadly consequences, as it did for the 378 people who lost their lives in alcohol-related crashes on North Carolina roadways last year, including 35 in December alone. “The safety of our citizens is my top priority, especially during the holiday season,” said Governor Pat McCrory. “I encourage everyone to plan ahead and designate a sober driver when alcohol is involved to ensure they get home safely. Law enforcement officers will be out day and night to catch drivers who break the law.” Although the number of drunk driving deaths in North Carolina has consistently declined year after year, drinking and driving continues to be responsible for nearly 28 percent of fatalities on our state’s roads. To raise awareness about the dangers of drunk driving and show how it impacts lives, the N.C. Department of Transportation and the Governor’s Highway Safety Program kicked off the Holiday “Booze It & Lose It” campaign earlier today in Asheville and launched BoozeItandLoseIt.org.   The centerpiece of the new website is the “20|20 Hindsight” video series, which includes 20 personal stories illustrating from very different perspectives the dire consequences of drinking and driving. Each video concludes with the message “See the stories. Learn the Lessons.” The goal of that message is to encourage those who visit the website to take the stories to heart and do their part to save lives by never getting behind the wheel after drinking.  “These powerful stories are a reminder that every alcohol-related crash has a face and a devastating impact on families," said Mike Charbonneau, Deputy Secretary of Communications. “One crash and death is too many and we hope that our ‘20|20 Hindsight’ series resonates with drivers to help us eliminate these tragedies." 229,103 alcohol-related crashes and 8,469 deaths have occurred on North Carolina highways since 1994, when the ‘Booze It & Lose It’ campaign started. In addition to the“20|20 Hindsight” video series, BoozeItandLoseIt.org also provides a history of “Booze It & Lose It,” national and statewide statistics, safety tips and an overview of North Carolina’s current DWI law. The Holiday “Booze It & Lose It” campaign begins today, Dec. 12, and runs through Jan. 4, 2015. For additional information about “Booze It & Lose It”, contact Heather Jeffreys at (919) 707-2665, or visit the GHSP website. ***NCDOT***
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12/5/2014: “Tree of Life” Commemorates Lives Lost on North Carolina’s Highways in 2013

“Tree of Life” Commemorates Lives Lost on North Carolina’s Highways in 2013

Posted 12/5/2014 9:47:44 AM

RALEIGH – The annual “Tree of Life” was illuminated this evening on the grounds of the State Capitol in memory of the 1,278 lives lost on North Carolina highways last year. Representatives from the N.C. Department of Transportation, the Governor’s Highway Safety Program, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, and law enforcement agencies from across the state joined families and friends of the victims to honor the lives lost and bring awareness to the dangers of drunk driving. The “Tree of Life” is lit with red and white lights, with 378 red lights memorializing the 378 victims of alcohol related crashes and 900 white lights commemorating the lives lost in all other vehicle crashes in 2013. Following the tree lighting, the group held a candlelight vigil in memory of those who died as the result of an impaired driver. “I hope tonight’s ceremony and this tree will not only pay tribute to these individuals, but also build awareness that will help prevent similar tragedies from occurring,” said NCDOT Secretary Tony Tata. “As the busy holiday season approaches, I urge everyone who gets behind the wheel to make smart decisions that can often mean the difference between life and death.” Secretary Tata spoke at the ceremony and was joined by GHSP Director Don Nail, NC MADD Director LaRonda Scott and Saundra Dockery. Saundra’s daughter, Tiffany, was a pedestrian that was hit and killed by an impaired driver. So far this year, North Carolina has seen 1,062 fatalities on its roadways, which is a slight decrease from the 1,064 deaths that occurred during the same time period in 2013. Alcohol related deaths have also declined a bit, with 294 year-to date compared to 309 at the same time last year. “Lighting the ‘Tree of Life’ continues to be a very moving experience year after year, knowing that each light represents a life lost,” said Don Nail, director of GHSP. “I look forward to the day we are able to celebrate an evergreen ‘Tree of Life’ with no lights at all.” GHSP reminds motorists that they should never take a holiday from safe driving. Drivers and passengers are urged to plan ahead to secure a sober driver and buckle up in every seat, every time.  Drivers are also reminded to obey the speed limit and avoid distractions while traveling. The “Tree of Life” will remain on display at the State Capitol through Jan. 4, 2015. ***NCDOT***
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10/17/2014: NCDOT to Emphasize Top Five Tips during National Teen Driver Safety Week

NCDOT to Emphasize Top Five Tips during National Teen Driver Safety Week

Posted 10/17/2014 4:12:15 PM

RALEIGH – Car crashes are the leading cause of death for 14-18 year olds in North Carolina. In an effort to save young lives, the N.C. Department of Transportation and the Governor’s Highway Safety Program are partnering during National Teen Driver Safety Week, which starts Sunday, to educate teens about the top five ways they can stay safe behind the wheel. “Teen drivers ages 16-20 comprise just 7 percent of the population in North Carolina, yet they accounted for 13 percent of all crashes and 9 percent of fatal crashes last year,” said GHSP Director Don Nail. “In order to bring those numbers down to zero, we ask parents to help emphasize our safety messages and teens to follow the rules of the road.” National Teen Driver Safety Week seeks to boost teen driver safety by challenging parents to engage their teens in ongoing discussion about critical driving practices that could prevent them from being involved in a crash. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s “5 to Drive” campaign addresses the five most dangerous and deadly behaviors for teen drivers. The “5 to Drive” rules are: 1.         No Drinking and Driving. 2.         Buckle Up. Every Seat. Every Time. 3.         Put It Down. One Text or Call Could Wreck It All. 4.         Stop Speeding Before It Stops You. 5.         No More than One Passenger at a Time. GHSP encourages teens and their parents to visit Safety City at the N.C. State Fair in Raleigh to learn firsthand about driving safety and interact with many of the “5 to Drive” elements. At Safety City, fairgoers can tour GHSP’s Breath Alcohol Testing (BAT) Mobile Unit, ride in seatbelt convincers that simulate a crash at 5-7 mph, and see the aftermath of a distracted driving crash. Safety City is located behind Dorton Arena and open each day from 9 a.m. until 7 p.m. All activities and materials are free of charge. In 2012, young drivers 16-20 years old were involved in 45,517 crashes in North Carolina. Young male drivers were involved in 53 percent of those crashes. Of the fatal crashes involving 16-20 year old drivers and passengers, 60 percent were not wearing their seatbelts, which is why GHSP reminds everyone that it is North Carolina law to buckle up – every seat, every time. National Teen Driver Safety Week begins Oct. 19 and runs through Oct. 25. For more information about it and NHTSA’s “5 to Drive” campaign, visit http://www.safercar.gov/parents/fivetodrive.htm.   ***NCDOT***
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4/12/2012: “No Need 2 Speed” Nets Nearly 13,500 Speeders

“No Need 2 Speed” Nets Nearly 13,500 Speeders

Posted 4/12/2012 9:53:28 AM

RALEIGH — The Governor’s Highway Safety Program announced today that state and local law enforcement officers cited 13,435 motorists for speeding during the “No Need 2 Speed” Campaign, which ran April 2-8. A total of 39,150 traffic and criminal citations were issued statewide. “State and local law enforcement agencies made a tremendous effort to make our highways safer and to remind motorists to obey the speed limit during this campaign,” said Becky Wallace, director of GHSP. Officers also issued 2,832 safety belt and 426 child passenger safety violations and 1,003 drug charges. In addition, they apprehended 819 fugitives from justice and recovered 51 stolen vehicles. For county-by-county citation totals or more information about “No Need 2 Speed”, visit the Governor's Highway Safety Program website. ***NCDOT***
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