Tie One On For Safety 2018
Conyers, GA – On Friday, December 21, 2018 Mothers Against Drunk Driving, in partnership with Springfield Baptist Church, the Rockdale County Sheriff’s Department, the Georgia State Patrol, and the Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety hosted a press release to kick off the holiday season with MADD’s Tie One On For Safety campaign.
During the press release, MADD provided the reminder to always plan ahead for a safe ride home if festivities will include alcohol, with a particular focus during the holiday season. MADD’s annual Tie One On For Safety campaign asks adults to display a red ribbon on their vehicles as a reminder to plan ahead for a designated non-drinking driver before holiday celebrations begin.
The holidays are one of the most dangerous times on our nation’s roadways with more people traveling, an increased number of festivities where alcohol is served, and a surge in drunk driving.
Kali Robinson, Program Specialist for MADD Georgia, welcomed those in attendance and introduced Pastor Eric Lee, the Senior Pastor of Springfield Baptist Church to provide the invocation. Harris Blackwood, the Director of the Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, spoke passionately about the need for improved safety on our roadways, discussing Georgia’s rank as a top state for roadway fatalities.
Sheriff Eric Levett of the Rockdale County Sheriff’s Office and Sergeant Cory Seymour of the Georgia State Patrol represented law enforcement and each detailed the efforts the agencies had planned to ensure road safety during the peak holiday travel periods.
Passionate victim/survivor volunteers Natasha Mitchell (State Advisory Council Member) and Angela Hentz shared their stories of losing loved ones to drunk and drugged driving crashes. Angela spoke of her son Alexander who she lost to this 100% preventable tragedy, and Natasha shared her story of her son Michael, who lost his life to the actions of a drunk and drugged driver.
MADD is incredibly grateful to Springfield Baptist Church, the Rockdale County Sheriff’s Office, the Georgia State Patrol, and the Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety for their efforts to make this event a success. MADD is especially grateful to Natasha Mitchell and Angela Hentz for their assistance coordinating the event and for sharing their stories with those in attendance.
For more information about MADD’s annual Tie One On For Safety campaign, please visit www.madd.org/toofs or contact the MADD Georgia State Office at 770-615-3737.
2018 Final Holiday Traffic Count for the Christmas Travel Period*
In 2018, the Christmas holiday travel period was 126-hours long, beginning at 6:00pm on Friday, December 21, and ending at 11:59pm on Tuesday, December 26. Traffic crashes across Georgia during this period resulted in 26 traffic deaths, an increase of 11 traffic deaths compared to the same travel period in 2017. Across the state, the Georgia State Troopers investigated 700 traffic crashes with a reported 333 injuries and 14 fatalities. In addition to those investigations, 285 people were arrested for driving under the influence.
*Statistics courtesy of the Georgia Department of Public Safety Final Holiday Traffic Count for Christmas Travel Period