THP Prepares Motorists For Heavy Presence Over Thanksgiving Holiday

Monday, November 19, 2012

Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security Commissioner Bill Gibbons and the Tennessee Highway Patrol’s Colonel Tracy Trott are reminding citizens to expect a “No Refusal” and high-visibility, safe driving enforcement campaign during the 2012 Thanksgiving Holiday period. The “No Refusal” enforcement will begin at 6 p.m., and end at midnight, Sunday.

The “No Refusal” law allows law enforcement officials to seek search warrants for blood samples in cases involving suspected impaired drivers. The goal is to deter impaired driving and reduce fatal crashes on Tennessee roadways.  The Thanksgiving Holiday marks the third “No Refusal” enforcement effort, following campaigns over the Fourth of July and Labor Day holiday periods.

“Thanksgiving is the beginning of the holiday travel season for millions of Americans. In Tennessee, State Troopers, prosecutors and judges in 16 counties across the state have joined together to ensure drunk drivers are removed from the roadways and travelers get to their destination safely. We thank both the local and state officials in advance for their participation in this effort,” Commissioner Gibbons said.

This targeted “No Refusal” enforcement will focus on 16 counties where impaired driving and fatal crashes have increased in 2012. Two counties from each of the eight THP Districts will participate, including Monroe and Sevier (Knoxville District); Franklin and Grundy (Chattanooga District); Davidson and Sumner (Nashville District); Shelby and Fayette (Memphis District); Cocke and Washington (Fall Branch District); Clay and Putnam (Cookeville District); Lawrence and Maury (Lawrenceburg District); and Chester and Weakley (Jackson District).

Nine people lost their lives on Tennessee roadways during last year’s Thanksgiving Day Holiday period. That is a decrease of 43.8 percent over the total from 2010 (16). One of the seven vehicle occupants killed during the 2011 Thanksgiving Holiday weekend was not wearing safety restraints. Almost half (44.4) percent of those killed were alcohol-related deaths.

AAA predicts 43.6 million Americans will travel at least 50 miles from home over the holiday, up just 0.7 percent from last year. That compares with an increase of eight and six percent, respectively, in the last two years.

“We anticipate an increase in traffic through Tennessee during the holidays,” Colonel Trott said. “State Troopers will saturate the interstate systems and high-crash corridors and place an emphasis on impaired driving, seat belt usage and traffic law compliance. Our goal is to save lives.”

Although safety belt usage was measured at 83.7 percent in 2012, more than 56 percent of passenger vehicle occupants killed in Tennessee traffic crashes were not wearing a safety belt in 2011 (among known seatbelt usage).

In Tennessee, 53.5 percent of vehicular fatalities are from unrestrained vehicle occupants in 2012. Additionally, alcohol related crashes are on the rise in Tennessee. There have been over 5,000 alcohol crashes already this year. That’s an increase of 95 more impaired driving crashes (1.9%) than this time last year.

“Our statewide goal is to reduce the number of serious injury and fatal motor vehicle crashes throughout Tennessee,” Governor’s Highway Safety Office Director Kendell Poole said. “We’ve significantly increased our efforts by partnering with local law enforcement agencies, as well as state officials during enforcement campaigns such as ‘No Refusal.’ Everyone’s participation is crucial for the success of this campaign.”

As of Monday, preliminary statistics indicate that 890 people have died on Tennessee roadways in 2012, an increase of 50 deaths compared to 840 fatalities at this same time a year ago.


Dade County And The Arts - Art Within Community

For several years, a monthly open mic show featured a variety of performers without censorship.  I performed in the first show, watched it develop over time, and was in the audience during the last show. The show taught me how art can function in community. This type of community snuck up on me and seemed to develop slowly through the ritual of a monthly gathering time and ... (click for more)

New Hamilton County Marriage Licenses

Here are the new marriage licenses from the County Clerk's office: MATTHEW PRESTON EWTON                             KRISTEN REANNA WILSON 6313 TELETHA LANE                                 6313 TELETHA LANE CHATTANOOGA, TN 37415 ... (click for more)

Unexpected Amount East Ridge Owes On Fire Hall Property Rises To $603,000; City To Apply For Reimbursement

The unexpected amount the city of East Ridge will owe the state on the fire hall property in connection with the Bass Pro development has risen to $603,000. Earlier, East Ridge officials said the payment would be $428,000. City Manager Andrew Hyatt said Monday, "The Tennessee Department of Transportation notified the city of East Ridge that an appraisal of the city’s former ... (click for more)

Fire Breaks Out At House Off Highway 58

A fire broke out on Memorial Day afternoon at a house off Highway 58. A 911 call was made at 12:10 p.m. reporting a house fire at 6019 Hillcrest Dr. The Highway 58 Volunteer Fire Department responded and found fire showing on an addition to the house. Firefighters worked quickly entering the addition to extinguish the fire from spreading to the main level of the house. ... (click for more)

A Memorial Day Reflection

I wish I could find that combination of words that would capture an inclusive meaning of Memorial Day.  I have attended many Memorial Day programs at the Chattanooga National Cemetery, so many that now they have merged into one memory.  But what stands out is that each year there are more friends and veterans to visit.  Some gave their all many years ago.  And ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Keep Your ‘Dirty’ Feed

Mark Twain once observed the difference in a cat and a lie is that a cat only has nine lives. You might remember that when you hear that a group of Tennessee Walking Horse trainers just donated two tons of horse feed “to aid and assist in the rehabilitation” of 55 horses that were rescued from deplorable conditions at a West Tennessee farm. The truth is that the horses were taken ... (click for more)