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DeKalb County Board of Health’s safe communities program receives funding
by Staff Reports
December 05, 2012 12:56 PM | 1939 views | 0 0 comments | 19 19 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The DeKalb County Board of Health has received a $67,800 Safe Communities grant from the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety to implement traffic and pedestrian safety programs in the county.

The funds will be used to help reduce injuries and deaths due to motor vehicle and pedestrian crashes by using several interventions, including policy, systems and environmental recommendations as well as outreach and education activities.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports the leading cause of death in the U.S. for persons ages 15 to 20 is motor vehicle crashes. In DeKalb County, between 2002 and 2006, motor vehicle crashes were responsible for 37,038 emergency room visits, 2,577 hospitalizations and 418 deaths, according to the 2010 Status of Health in DeKalb report. These crashes are the leading cause of death for people ages 1 to 34.

“Helping teens and young people to adopt safe driving behaviors and habits early, through prevention education, helps to save lives.” said Denika Lomax, injury prevention coordinator.

Safe Communities conducted seat belt surveys at five high schools in the county and found that only 13 percent of teen drivers were not buckled up. Further, 9 percent of DeKalb County teens self-reported rarely using a seat belt when riding in a car driven by someone else, according to the 2012 Youth Risk Behavior Survey.

Safe Communities will undertake the following program activities:

 Educate teen drivers, parents and pedestrians about the importance of always using a seat belt and not texting or talking on a cell phone while driving.

 Offer the Parents Reducing Injuries and Driver Error program to reach youth and parents with safe driving education. The program addresses driver attitude, knowledge and behavior, rather than technical, hands-on skills.

 Engage community stakeholders along the Buford Highway corridor to promote pedestrian safety education and strategies on how to implement traffic calming activities.

 Conduct booster seat education programs to reach parents about the changes in Georgia’s seat belt laws and on how to properly install booster seats. The program also provides free booster seats for parents who meet eligibility requirements.

Information: (404) 508-7884 or email Denika Lomax, drlomax@dhr.state.ga.us.

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