State Troopers Target Impaired Drivers And Seat Belt Offenders Over Weekend

Thursday, December 20, 2012

The Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security Thursday announced a reminder that the Tennessee Highway Patrol will be out in force during the Christmas Holiday period to ensure travelers reach their destination safely. State troopers will focus their attention on impaired driving and seat belt usage during the holiday, beginning at 12:01 a.m. on Friday and ending at midnight on Tuesday.

“The focus of this effort is to save lives,” Commissioner Bill Gibbons said.  “I urge all Tennesseans and travelers passing through our state to obey the laws designed to keep them safe, through the holidays and whenever they get behind the wheel.” 

During the 2011 Christmas holiday, nine people were killed on Tennessee roadways in six fatal crashes. Alcohol was involved in 66 percent of those crashes and four of the eight vehicle occupants killed were not wearing seat belts. There was also one pedestrian killed during the 96-hour holiday period.

“Unfortunately, impaired driving is a year-round problem. It becomes especially serious during the holidays as more people are traveling to and from parties and special gatherings,” THP Colonel Tracy Trott said. “Our goal is remove offenders from the roadways and protect the motoring public. We want this joyous time to be safe for everyone, and all of our traffic safety enforcement efforts are created with that goal in mind,” he added.   

The THP will utilize several enforcement tools, including saturation patrols, bar and tavern checks, and driver license and sobriety checkpoints to help reduce serious injury and fatal crashes over the holiday.

The THP said designating a sober driver and not letting friends drive drunk are two of the several steps to help avoid a tragic crash or an arrest for impaired driving. Other tips include: 

Plan ahead: Whenever you plan on consuming alcohol, designate your sober driver before going out and give that person your keys;

If you’re impaired, call a taxi, use mass transit or call a sober friend or family member to get you home safely; 

Promptly report drunk drivers you see on the roadways to the Tennessee Highway Patrol by dialing  *THP;

Wearing your seat belt or using protective gear on your motorcycle is your best defense against an impaired driver; 

Friends Don’t Let Friends Drive Drunk.  If you know someone who is about to drive or ride while impaired, take their keys and help them make other arrangements to get to where they are going safely.



Cleveland Names Street For Billy Graham, World-Renowned Evangelist

An additional section of 15th Street is being renamed by the city of Cleveland as Billy Graham Avenue.   The world-renowned pastor began his higher education here in 1936 when Bob Jones College was located in Cleveland. He attended classes here for about six months and transferred to another school in Florida.   Bob Jones College moved to Greenville, S.C. ... (click for more)

Special Event Street Closures For Oct. 25-29

Wednesday, Oct. 25 First Centenary Fall Festival: Oak Street will be closed between Lindsay Street and Houston Street from 3-9 p.m. for the First Centenary United Methodist fall festival. Visit www.firstcentenary.com for more information.  Friday, Oct. 27 Bitter Alibi Halloween Party: Houston Street will be closed between MLK Boulevard and Flynn Street from ... (click for more)

Chattanoogan Hotel Sold By City To Lexington, Ky., Hospitality Group For $32 Million

The city has reached agreement to sell the Chattanoogan hotel for $32 million. The buyer is Schulte Hospitality Group of Lexington, Ky. The firm has 102 hotels in 26 states. Daisy Madison, city chief financial officer, said the proceeds would be enough to pay off all the city's remaining debt for building it. She said there had been interest in buying the hotel before, ... (click for more)

Janice Raper, 69, Killed In Accident On Lee Highway

Janice Raper, 69, was killed Sunday evening in a car accident on Lee Highway. Chattanooga Police responded at 7:54 p.m. to a traffic crash at 6800 Lee Highway. A Toyota Sienna, driven by Ms. Raper, was traveling northbound, attempting to make a left turn onto Hickory Valley Road.  A Dodge Challenger, driven by Charise Nash, 26, was traveling southbound on Lee Highway, ... (click for more)

October Is Breast Cancer Awareness Month: Myth And Fact Check

My husband and I recently had the privilege of participating in the American Cancer Society’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk in Chattanooga. I listened as my husband told the audience about how his mother was diagnosed with breast cancer when he was nine and how she died from the disease when he was fourteen. As a child, my husband didn’t understand what breast cancer ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: ‘All Hat, No Cattle’

A very long time ago there was a philosopher in Greece named Plato. He was really good at it; founded the first organized school in the world, this around 400 BC. He is also thought to be the founder of spirituality, which later became Christianity, and had a dandy bunch of other great ideas. He was taught by Socrates and then Plato, in turn, taught young Aristotle. He was evermore ... (click for more)