Articles Posted in Car Accidents

CarseatGeorgia and Tennessee state law enforcement officials confirm a spike in unrestrained motorist and passenger accidents. Sadly, these statistics extend to teens and young children who were injured or killed in accidents without being properly restrained.

The Murray Law Firm hopes this new data will serve as a grave reminder to all parents, drivers and passengers to buckle up.

News 12 reports:

Vehicle crashes involving unrestrained motorist and passengers are increasing in both Southeast Tennessee and North Georgia.

Georgia and Tennessee state law enforcement officials confirmed the statistics during a major press conference at Erlanger Medical Center.

“We’ve seen a spike in crashes. Interstates have seen a 22-percent increase in crashes this year,” said one Georgia State Trooper.

Within the 12-county Chattanooga district for the Tennessee Highway Patrol, the numbers are considered disturbing. 

Since 2012, more than 1,100 unrestrained people have been injured in crashes. 142 of those cases resulted in death. Hamilton County had the highest unrestrained fatalities with 33. 

Since January of this year, 86-unrestrained motorists and passengers were injured in crashes. 28-of those injures happened in Hamilton County. But those numbers mainly account for adults.

“We still see kids in our trauma unit that weren’t restrained properly or weren’t restrained at all,” Erlanger Trauma Surgeon Dr. Lisa Smith.

Georgia had nine straight years of reduced road fatalities. But this year, numbers have spiked.

“This year, we’re up almost 20-percent in the first quarter and it’s troubling,” said Georgia Governor Highway Safety Representative Harris Blackwood.

A great majority of those fatalities involve teenage drivers.

“We’ve buried too many of most valuable resources; our children. And many times they’ve done that because they were not wearing their seat belt,” Blackwood said.

Read the full story here.

Wyoming Tribune Eagle

Wyoming Tribune Eagle

High School students taking part in the “It Can Wait” program, sponsored by AT&T, are using a virtual driving simulator to learn the perils of texting while driving.

Students at Cheyenne South High School were among those to take part in the “It Can Wait” program. Teens took turns driving through a virtual city, negotiating turns, avoiding traffic hazards and watching other vehicles, all while trying to respond to text messages received through a provided cellphone.

The resulting virtual accidents showed students the potential risks of texting while driving on real roads.

“It shows in just three to five seconds what can happen when you’re distracted, and the consequences can be fatal,” said Debbie Maljian of the Laramie County School District. “It can wait. No message is worth texting and driving.”

Read the full story at the Wyoming Tribune Eagle. 

Visit the Teen Page for more educational resources and information on preventing distracted driving.

The tragic August death of GSU freshman, Michael Gatto, has rallied many in support of Michael’s Law, a bill which would keep underage patrons and bouncers out of bars. House Bill 152 passed the Georgia House of Representatives on Friday, March 13th and now awaits review in the Georgia Senate.

Connect Statesboro Reports:

Since the death of GSU freshman Michael Gatto at Rude Rudy’s last August, Statesboro has been a hotbed of contention over underage alcohol sales and bar attendance. Police charged Grant James Spencer, then 20 — a bouncer who was at the club but reportedly off-duty at the time — with aggravated battery and felony murder. Gatto had arrived as a freshman at Georgia Southern University about two weeks earlier. Spencer, who was also a GSU student, remains in jail awaiting trial. Rude Rudy’s closed after Gatto’s death, and the club’s owner surrendered his alcohol license to the city.

In response to their son’s death, Gatto’s parents have been working to pass a bill that would keep underage people out of bars and away from alcohol. Last Friday, March 13, the Georgia House of Representatives passed House Bill 152, which proposes several changes to alcohol regulation laws statewide.


Here are the bare bones: The Georgia House of Representatives approved legislation to define what bars are, make 21 the minimum age to enter one or work as a bouncer, and place new demands on cities, counties and businesses to report alcoholic beverage violations.


What’s a bar?

According to the new legislation, a bar is a place that derives 75 percent or more of its revenue from alcoholic beverages. The Department of Revenue will be able to look at the monthly sales tax reports of each venue to determine where its revenue is coming from.

Under this definition, Statesboro technically doesn’t have any “bars” — only restaurants that serve alcohol but derive more than 50 percent of their revenue from food sales, or “sports restaurants” required only to have a food permit. However, if any Statesboro venues were to be audited and found to derive 75 percent of their revenue from alcohol sales, they would have to change their status to “bar” and enforce the under-21 restrictions.

The 21 rule

Under HB 152, a person have to be at least 21 years old to enter a bar. That applies to employees as well as customers, although the bill doesn’t explicitly include bartenders or servers.

Bouncers—defined as “individual(s) primarily performing duties related to verifying age for admittance, security, maintaining order, or safety, or a combination thereof” — must also be 21 years old.

Required reporting

Alcohol license holders must self-report any violations of local, state or federal alcohol laws to the Georgia Department of Revenue within 45 days of the violation.Cities and counties must also report any violations within their jurisdiction to the Department of Revenue. The revenue commissioner can issue fines of up to $750 for license holders who fail to report violations


Not exactly. The bill has been passed in the Georgia House of Representatives and still has to go through the Georgia Senate. The Senate could alter the bill or hold off on passing it, meaning it wouldn’t come up again as a potential law until next year. Also, to become an official law, it’s going to need the governor’s signature.

Read the full article at Connect Statesboro and follow House Bill 152 at the Georgia General Assembly.