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Wednesday, April 23, 2014, 2:42 a.m.
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Arkansas rolls out highway-safety campaign

By David Harten

This article was originally published January 28, 2014 at 10:43 a.m. Updated January 28, 2014 at 11:59 a.m.

arkansas-highway-and-transportation-department-director-scott-bennett-speaks-tuesday-jan-28-2014-as-a-group-of-state-troopers-gather-at-the-state-capitol-in-little-rock-to-announce-the-toward-zero-deaths-road-safety-campaign

Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department Director Scott Bennett speaks Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014, as a group of state troopers gather at the state Capitol in Little Rock to announce the Toward Zero Deaths road-safety campaign.

Toward Zero Deaths campaign launched in LR

Officials with the Arkansas State Police, the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department and the Arkansas Department of Health announced the unveiling of the Towards Zero Deaths campaign on Tuesday morning at the State Capital. The initiative will be in place to help prevent deaths on Arkansas roadways. (By David Harten)
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State officials unveiled Tuesday a campaign to reduce to zero the number of traffic fatalities on Arkansas roads.

Officials representing the Arkansas State Police, the state Highway and Transportation Department and the Arkansas Department of Health gathered at the state Capitol in Little Rock to announce the Toward Zero Deaths initiative, which is part of a nationwide effort to reduce traffic deaths by using data to pinpoint areas where roads can be improved and by increasing driver education.

"There's not an acceptable number of deaths," state Department of Health Director Nathaniel Smith said. He was joined at the news conference by Highway Director Scott Bennett and Arkansas State Police Director Col. Stan Witt, along with Health Department Section Chief Teresa Belew.

Bennett said that while precautions are already being taken to prevent driver deaths — including rumble strips and median retainer barriers, the AHTD will look into several other ways to cut down on fatalities.

"It's become a national focus," Bennett said.

Witt added that one of the biggest dangers is distracted drivers, something that the ASP will increase enforcement on as the initiative gets put into place.

A 30-second commercial to promote the campaign will begin airing Sunday throughout the state.

Read more about this story in tomorrow's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

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RBBrittain says... January 28, 2014 at 1:58 p.m.

More smoke & mirrors, just like "Click It or Ticket" (especially BEFORE Arkansas had a primary seatbelt law, but even THAT isn't evenly enforced). Though there should be NO "acceptable" level of deaths, we all know zero deaths is NOT ACHIEVABLE as long as humans are behind the wheel, and perhaps even if computers are driving (i.e., Google cars)...

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