GA highways deaths expected to rise as holiday season approaches - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

GA highways deaths expected to rise as holiday season approaches

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ATLANTA (WRCB) -- As traffic fatalities in Georgia are expected to rise in 2012, the Georgia State Patrol has launched "Operation: Safe Holidays" to help increase awareness and safety on the roadways.

The potential increase in road fatalities for 2012, if realized, would come after six consecutive years of decreasing fatality rates on Georgia's roadways.

Between Jan. 1 2012 and Nov. 15, 2012, 1,013 people died in motor vehicle crashes in Georgia. The rate of traffic fatalities this year is in line to exceed that of 2011, when 1,226 people died in motor vehicle crashes in Georgia.

Officials called attention to the increasing need for vigilance on Georgia's roads in the final 41 days of the year, saying that saving a life is as simple as securing a seat belt.

"Wearing your seat belt is the single most effective thing you can do to ensure you and your passengers arrive safely to your family's Thanksgiving celebration," said GSP Col. McDonough. "It's also an effective way to avoid getting stopped by law enforcement on your way home."

Already, law enforcement officials across the state have been participating in Click-it or Ticket, a national campaign to enforce seat belt laws and save lives during the Thanksgiving holiday travel period.

In 2010 alone, seat belts saved more than 12,500 lives nationwide, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

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