State Agencies Announce Actions To Be Taken To Curb Traffic Fatalities In Tennessee

Thursday, October 17, 2013

The commissioners of the Tennessee Department of Transportation and the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security on Thursday announced specific actions their agencies are taking to help curb the number of traffic fatalities in Tennessee. As of Oct. 17, there have been 800 people killed on Tennessee roadways in 2013. That is the same number of fatalities this same time last year.

TDOT Commissioner John Schroer announced his department will display the daily traffic fatality figures on its dynamic message boards across the state. This figure will be updated each weekday and will be compared to the number of fatalities on the same date in 2012.

"It's my hope that seeing the fatality numbers on a daily basis will help drivers make better decisions that can save lives," Mr. Schroer said. "Whether it's putting your phone down, watching your speed, buckling your seat belt, or choosing not to drive impaired, every single motorist can do their part to prevent more tragedies on our roadways."

TDOSHS Commissioner Bill Gibbons said the Tennessee Highway Patrol  will continue to focus on specific DUI and seatbelt enforcement efforts that will include special enforcement campaigns throughout the upcoming holiday travel season.

“While we made great progress in the first six months of 2013 compared to last year, the last three months have been very deadly on Tennessee roadways,” Mr. Gibbons said. “I know that our stepped up efforts at DUI and seat belt enforcement have saved lives. We will continue to focus on those areas.”

Tennessee Highway Patrol Colonel Tracy Trott released preliminary data that show decreases in the state wide number of alcohol-related crashes and the number of people killed in alcohol-related crashes to date in 2013, compared to this time last year. A total of 172 individuals have died in alcohol-related crashes through October 16, compared to 252 at this time in 2012 (a drop of 31.7 percent). To date, there has been a 10.7 percent decline in total alcohol-related crashes this year.

The THP has taken a strategic and data driven approach this year to DUI enforcement efforts that has resulted in 5,039 arrests for driving under the influence through October 16. That is a 10 percent increase over the number of DUI arrests made this time last year (4,578). 

State troopers have greatly focused on issuing seatbelt citations in 2013, as well, resulting in a 52.2 percent increase compared to this time last year (59,918 citations in 2013; 39,392 in 2012.) So far this year, there have been 289 unrestrained fatalities on Tennessee roadways, compared to 331 this time last year (a 12.7 percent decrease).

“I believe our enforcement efforts are making a difference. I know we have helped saved lives. But I am concerned that the number of fatalities continues to rise. We will continue to use proven enforcement campaigns, such as Operation Nighthawk, and other aggressive efforts, especially during the holiday travel season,” Mr. Trott said.

“The safety of the citizens who travel our roadways is our number one priority. We will continue to work together to utilize education, enforcement, engineering, and emergency response to increase safety, especially when we see alarming trends in fatalities like we’ve seen over the past three months,” said Kendell Poole, director of the Governor’s Highway Safety Office.


New Hiener Book Of Historic Chattanooga Photos Available At Zarzours

The new Paul Hiener Historic Chattanooga Photos book published by Chattanoogan.com is available at Zarzours Restaurant. Zarzours is located on the Southside on Rossville Avenue behind the Main Street Fire Hall #1. Mr. Hiener, a longtime Chattanooga printer and lifelong resident, collected over 3,000 historic pictures of his beloved hometown. He made some of the photos ... (click for more)

City Council Approves Tax Abatement For Standard Coosa Thatcher Loft Project

The City Council on Tuesday night approved a tax abatement for a loft project at the old Standard Coosa Thatcher plant in Ridgedale. Officials said that 100 percent of the units will be affordable housing. A project for the dilapidated site has long been on the drawing board. There would be 170 units at the 1700 and 1800 block of Watkins Street.   (click for more)

An Open Letter To Tennessee Electors Of The President - And Response (3)

This an open letter to the following people who are Tennessee's presidential electors this year: Joey Jacobs (Brentwood), Beth Scott Clayton Amos (Nashville), Jason Mumpower (Bristol), Susan Mills (Maryville), Liz Holiway (Harriman), Lynne Davis (Lascassas), Tom Lawless (Nashville), Mike Callahan (Monterey), Pat Allen (Clarksville), Shannon Haynes (Alamo), and Drew Daniel (Memphis).  ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: You Can’t Sue You

The Hamilton County School Board will convene an hour earlier tomorrow to discuss “facilities” and the question of the hour is “Which ones?” Several communities are actively studying pulling away from the county’s Department of Education and the stew is thickening by the day. Now comes the revelation that school board attorney Scott Bennett has sent an email to the town of Signal ... (click for more)

Top-Ranked Bradley Uses Fast Start To Beat Baylor

There’s no question that the Bradley Bears are ranked first in the initial state wrestling poll and they proved they deserve to be in that top spot following a 43-30 victory over the Baylor Red Raiders. Baylor is ranked fourth in that first poll and will surely be a force to be reckoned with in Division II as the season progresses, but the Bears are head and shoulders ahead after ... (click for more)

Run-And-Gun Tyner Shoots Down Red Bank 71-33

Tyner opponents better batten down the hatches if the Rams ever iron out their half-court offensive struggles. Even without that weapon showing up Tuesday night, the Rams showed they have a run-and-gun assault that can bury an opponent under an avalanche of points. And their defense is as tenacious as ever. Tyner outscored Red Bank 15-0 to start the second quarter ... (click for more)