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Governor Initiates Car Crash Awareness Effort
February 6, 2008 - Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels has proclaimed February 10-17, 2008 as “Crashes are No Accident Week” in Indiana. To recognize the week, the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) is launching a new safety Web site – YouHoldtheKey.IN.gov – and raising awareness about the role drivers play in highway crash prevention.
“Highway safety is a core value that drives our decision-making,” said INDOT Commissioner Karl B. Browning. “We have made great strides by adding safety features to minimize highway fatalities, but sometimes the most effective solution to a safety problem is the simplest one. If motorists slow down, concentrate, buckle up and never drive while under the influence, most highway fatalities can be prevented.”
“We are trying to reframe the way people think about highway crashes by pointing out that these aren’t ‘accidents’,” said Indiana State Police Superintendent Paul Whitesell. “The term ‘accident’ feeds the misconception that highway crashes are beyond our control, when in fact they are the predictable results of behaviors such as speeding, impaired driving, following too closely and driver distraction.”
In 2007, more than 890 Hoosier motorists died in traffic crashes. Most of those fatal crashes were caused by driver errors such as driving under the influence, driving too fast for conditions or distracted driving. Highway fatalities such as these take an enormous toll both on Hoosier families losing loved ones and on the state’s economy. INDOT estimates that highway crashes and fatalities result in an annual loss of more than $5 billion to Indiana’s economy.
“To overcome the senseless losses Indiana experiences each year, state and local law enforcement agencies are taking an aggressive approach to increasing seat belt use, deterring impaired driving and reducing speed-related crashes through high-visibility enforcement crackdowns,” said Jason Hutchens, Chief Deputy Director of the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute. “However, we cannot achieve the level of crash reduction we desire unless Hoosier motorists share the same commitment to safety.”
Drivers are encouraged to visit INDOT’s new Web site, YouHoldtheKey.IN.gov, to learn safe driving tips to help keep drivers and their loved ones safe as they travel Indiana highways. The Web site also features safety fact sheets for download and links to additional driver safety Web sites.
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