New Initiative to Reduce Traffic Accidents Caused by Government Vehicles
|Monday, June 6, 2005||
Contact: Office of Communications 404-651-7774
Reportmydriving.ga.gov Intended to Put a Dent in Accident Claims
ATLANTA - Today Governor Sonny Perdue announced a new web site that will allow the public to report on both good and bad driving practices of state employees. The Department of Administrative Services (DOAS), the agency that manages Georgia 's vehicle fleet, will maintain a web site for citizens to report complaints or positive comments about the drivers of government vehicles. The web site can be found at www.reportmydriving.ga.gov. Bumper stickers advertising the website will be affixed to state vehicles, excluding law enforcement vehicles.
According to DOAS, this new program has potential to decrease the state's annual accident claims, which have cost the state more than $10.5 million since 2002.
“I believe our state employees are safe drivers, but there are always exceptions. Identifying those exceptions will save Georgians headaches and could potentially save millions in accident claims,” said Governor Sonny Perdue.
Statistics suggest the total number of accidents involving state vehicles could significantly reduce once reporting begins. In 1998, the Hanover Insurance Company tracked 445 vehicles nationwide insured by its company, using a similar system. Accidents dropped 22 percent, from 23 incidents to 18 per 100 vehicles. Claims were reduced by 52 percent.
“One of the methods to prevent accidents involving or caused by state vehicles is to improve the road conduct of our drivers,” said DOAS Commissioner Dana Russell. “However,
we are also encouraging citizens to send comments on courteous and conscientious state employees driving state vehicles,” he added.
According to Commissioner Russell, until now there were no clearly defined methods to report and respond to complaints reported by motorists. The web site also tracks responses to complaints to ensure follow-up by the agencies involved.
Statistics since 2002 indicate that the state of Georgia has paid for more than 5,800 accident claims involving state vehicles, totaling $10.5 million. The primary causes of accidents were failure to yield, backing into another vehicle, and being rear-ended or rear-ending other vehicles. Since 2002, rear-ending other motorists has been the most frequent cause of accident claims for the state. 623 accidents caused by state drivers who rear-ended other motorists cost the state approximately $4 million since 2002. The second most costly violation was failure to yield, causing 757 accidents and costing $2 million.
The Report My Driving web site supports Governor Perdue's recently announced reforms to tighten policies and reduce expenses for the use of state vehicles. In December of 2004, Governor Perdue challenged the state to save millions with more effective and efficient management of an estimated 21,000 government vehicles. Specifically, Governor Perdue set four goals, including:
- Collect accurate data on the cost of operation, utilization, acquisition and disposal of state vehicles; and the enforcement of policy for assigning cars to individuals and their use for commuting;
- Reduce the state fleet by 2,000 cars before June 30, 2005;
- Reduce commuting mileage by 25 percent; and
- Search for cost-saving opportunities through outsourcing and/or pilot projects.
Governor Perdue also announced that as a result of his challenge, the state has reduced its vehicle fleet by 1,506 vehicles.
The Governor's fleet management directives were recommended by the Commission for A New Georgia, a panel of top business executives, who studied management practices across state government and developed methods to save money and improve services.