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November 22, 2021 - The Lutzie 43 Foundation and Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) have agreed upon a two-year partnership that will launch ahead of holiday travel. The partnership will promote the Lutzie 43 Foundation’s 43 Key Seconds safe driving initiative and the Georgia Department of Transportation’s Drive Alert Arrive Alive campaign in an effort to reduce the number of crashes and fatalities in Georgia caused by unsafe driving such as, distracted and impaired driving, speeding or not wearing a seatbelt. 

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 GDOT’s HERO and CHAMP programs. 

“We are looking forward to working with the Lutzie 43 Foundation to make the roadways in Georgia safer,” said Georgia Department of Transportation Commissioner Russell McMurry. "The Lutzie 43 Foundation is an independent organization created to help reduce the number of distracted driving incidents through its 43 Key Seconds safe driving initiative, ultimately diminishing the number of deaths caused by unsafe driving, and is very much in line with GDOT's Drive Alert Arrive Alive Campaign. Together, these driver safety-focused initiatives can make an impact on driver behavior making roads in Georgia safer." 

The Lutzie 43 Foundation was founded after former Auburn football player, Philip Lutzenkirchen, passed away in 2014 as a passenger in a distracted and impaired driving accident in LaGrange, Georgia. Philip decided to get into a vehicle with someone who had been drinking and was not wearing a seatbelt. When the vehicle rolled through a stop sign well over the posted speed limit, the vehicle crashed. Philip was thrown 15 feet from the vehicle’s final resting place. 

Since 2014, the Lutzie 43 Foundation, led by Philip’s father, Mike Lutzenkirchen, has been on a mission to prevent what happened to Philip from happening to other drivers and end distracted and impaired driving. The foundation accomplishes its mission through the 43 Key Seconds safe driving initiative. This initiative was created to make the first nationally-recognized symbol for distracted and impaired driving. 

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

The Lutzie 43 Foundation and GDOT will distribute the 43 Key Seconds keys through the HERO and CHAMP programs across the state. In addition to the distribution of the keys, the two organizations will host several Safe Driving Summits across the state. These summits allow drivers to hear Philip’s story and hear from other professionals about the dangers of distracted and impaired driving. 

“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, executive director of the Lutzie 43 Foundation. “Through the Safe Driving Summits, paid marketing campaigns and distribution of the 43 Key Seconds keys through the HERO and CHAMP programs, 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.” 

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