Georgia Commissioner of Transportation Russell McMurry

ATLANTA – The Georgia Department of Transportation (DOT) is targeting distracted and impaired driving through a partnership with a nonprofit foundation.

The DOT is entering a two-year partnership with the Lutzie 43 Foundation, created after former Auburn football player Philip Lutzenkirchen died in 2014 as a passenger in an auto crash in LaGrange involving a driver who had been drinking.

The partnership, being launched ahead of the holiday travel season, will promote the foundation’s 43 Key Seconds safe driving initiative together with the DOT’s Drive Alert Arrive Alive campaign in an effort to reduce the number of crashes and fatalities in Georgia caused by unsafe driving.   

“We are looking forward to working with the Lutzie 43 Foundation to make the roadways in Georgia safer,” Georgia Commissioner of Transportation Russell McMurry said. “Together, these driver safety-focused initiatives can make an impact on driver behavior.”

The partnership will include a comprehensive communications plan, new Safe Driving Summit events and the distribution of the Lutzie 43 Foundation’s 43 Key Seconds keys through the DOT’s HERO and CHAMP programs. 

The 43 Key Seconds key serves as a safe driving tool. By keeping the key on a keychain or somewhere visible in their car, drivers are prompted to take 43 seconds to ensure they have a clear head, clear hands, clear eyes and click their seatbelt before starting the car. 

“We are thrilled to be partnering with GDOT to share our 43 Key Seconds safe driving initiative and work together to make our roads safe,” said Mike Lutzenkirchen, Philip’s father and executive director of the Lutzie 43 Foundation.

“Through the Safe Driving Summits, paid marketing campaigns and distribution of the 43 Key Seconds keys … we believe that at the end of this partnership, we will have made a difference not only on the roads, but in the lives of drivers across the state.” 

This story is available through a news partnership with Capitol Beat News Service, a project of the Georgia Press Educational Foundation.

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