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Traffic Fatalities on Alaska Roads Dropping
Higher Seat Belt Use, DUI Enforcement Helping


July 14, 2005

Alaska highway traffic fatalities for the first six months of 2005 show a 34 percent drop, compared with the same time period in each of the years 2000-2004. State officials believe the difference is attributable to ongoing efforts to urge Alaskans to use their seat belts, and to get drunk drivers off the road.

"It would appear that our efforts to urge Alaskans to "Click It Or Ticket" and our DUI campaigns are working," said Governor Frank H. Murkowski. "These campaigns, involving local law enforcement, along with State Troopers, are resulting in saved lives. And, when we consider the tragic impacts to families that we are able to avoid by making our highways safer and having fewer fatal accidents, clearly the benefits go way beyond the lives saved."

The "Click It Or Ticket" effort by local law enforcement and Alaska State Troopers started on Memorial Day weekend and will last through Labor Day weekend. The Alaska Highway Safety Office conducted an initial seat belt survey prior to Memorial Day weekend, which showed that 77% of Alaskans were using their seat belts. The office conducted a follow-up survey after Memorial Day, and will release the results in August. "We anticipate it will show seat belt usage going up," said Don Smith, the governor's highway safety administrator.

The Department of Transportation and Public Facilities has installed more than 200 "Buckle Up Signs" around the state, including 90 basic "Buckle Up" signs installed on Alaska's major highways. An additional 125 "Click It Or Ticket" signs have also been installed in or around Alaska's largest cities. DOT has also produced thousands of corrugated plastic "Click It Or Ticket" signs for distribution to business and governmental agencies. Many are being placed in employee and customer parking lots.

"We will also be waging a ten month DUI campaign in Alaska to get impaired drivers off our highways," Smith said. "The effort started at the beginning of this month and will last until April of next year. In addition to a media campaign, there will be a sustained overtime effort by local police and State Troopers."

Since 1964 - 3,813 Alaskans Have Lost Their Lives in Highway Accidents.

Traffic fatalities:

Alaska Highway Fatalities (doc)


Source of News & documnet:

Alaska Department of Transportation
Web Site


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