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FHP kicks off 'Arrive Alive' campaign to reduce traffic deaths

Traffic fatalities rise across Central Florida

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – Troopers and other law enforcement officers across Central Florida are rebooting a safety campaign with the goal of reducing the number of traffic fatalities.

Every time you get behind the wheel, law enforcement officials want you to remember two words.

"Arrive alive," Master Deputy Greg Rittger with the Orange County Sheriff's Office Motor Unit said.

Rittger calls them two simple words, but he says many drivers aren't focusing on driving.

"The distractions are overwhelming nowadays with everything that we have in our cars and with everything that is on our minds," he said.

Rittger says a distracted driver caused the death of one of their own --Deputy Norman Lewis, who was killed in a motorcycle crash last week.

That is just one of the reasons why the Sheriff's Office, along with other law enforcement agencies, is teaming up with the Florida Highway Patrol to bring back the 1970s campaign "Arrive Alive."

"Your job, is when you get behind the wheel, is to drive the car and get to where you're going in a safe, prudent manner," Rittger said.

Troopers say traffic fatalities across Central Florida are on the rise. FHP released these statistics breaking down the number of traffic fatalities by county: 

 

                             2015                       2016                       % change

 

Brevard                85                           103                         26%

Lake                     60                           56                           -8%

Orange                 147                         175                         23%

Osceola                49                           51                           4%                                         

Seminole             42                             49                           11%

Volusia                 92                           120                         38%

 

"We need to get people to focus on driving and concentrate on driving in a safe manner," FHP Maj. Waxler Bright said.

FHP adds that pedestrian and motorcycle fatalities, along with hit-and-runs are also up.

Law enforcement officers say they will be out in full force at key target areas. Bright says those locations are still being determined but they are aware of some hot spots, like the intersection of University Boulevard and State Road 436.

Bright says they will be looking for unsafe behavior.

"Distracted driving, disregarding traffic control devices, following too closely, seat belt violations, and speed, to name a few," Bright said.

Both Bright and Rittger say the goal of the campaign is to get the number of fatalities across the state down to zero.

"Arrive Alive" echoes News 6's mission to drive change in Florida's texting and driving laws and to make sure everyone is safe on the roads.


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