Tennessee Highway Patrol Steps Up Seat Belt, DUI Enforcement For Memorial Day Weekend

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The Tennessee Highway Patrol will step up seat belt and DUI enforcement efforts over the Memorial Day holiday weekend. The THP also encourages all motorists to drive safely during the 78-hour period. State troopers will conduct several seat belt and sobriety checkpoints and will be out in force patrolling statewide to help ensure safe roadways this holiday. 

The 2013 Memorial Day holiday period begins at 6:00 p.m. on Friday, and ends at 11:59 p.m. on Monday. 

16 people were killed on Tennessee roadways during the 2012 Memorial Day holiday weekend. That was a decrease from 19 fatalities in 2011. Last year, alcohol was involved in six of the fatalities. 

“This weekend traditionally marks the start of the summer travel season. That means more motorists on the roads, and a greater chance of accidents. To help decrease those chances and make the roadways safer, we are using our crash data from previous years to deploy troopers to the spots where more accidents occur,” Commissioner Bill Gibbons said.  

As of May 22, 328 people have been killed on Tennessee roadways this calendar year. That is 50 fewer vehicular fatalities than the 378 killed during this same time period last year. Of the vehicle occupant fatalities this year, nearly half (48.6 percent) were not restrained. 

“While there has been a decrease so far this year, more traffic fatalities could be prevented if motorists would simply wear their seat belts,” Colonel Tracy Trott said. “We are placing a special emphasis on increasing seat belt usage this year.  We are also strategically conducting DUI checkpoints and will continue to focus our efforts on stopping drunk driving,” Trott added.

Preliminary data show that 21 percent of all traffic fatalities in Tennessee year-to-date have been alcohol related.  State troopers have made 2,402 DUI arrests so far this calendar year – a 7.5 percent increase from the 2,235 DUI arrests made during the same time period in 2012.

The THP has scheduled 65 checkpoints throughout the long holiday weekend in an effort to reduce fatalities and serious injury crashes in the state.  

The Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security’s (www.TN.Gov/safety) mission is to ensure that the state is a safe, secure place in which to live, work and travel; enforce the law with integrity; and provide customer-focused services professionally and efficiently. 


Traffic Signals To Be Down On I-75 And Volkswagen Drive Ramps On Thursday

The traffic signals at the northbound and southbound off ramps at I-75 and Volkswagen Drive, Exit 9, will be out on  Thursday,  from  8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.  for EPB utility work.  Both ramps will have a stop sign, and there will be someone at both signals directing traffic as needed. Drivers are asked to approach each intersection with ... (click for more)

Author David Powell Signs Copies Of New Book The Chickamauga Campaign—Barren Victory

Author David Powell will be signing copies of his newly released book, The Chickamauga Campaign—Barren Victory: The Retreat into Chattanooga, the Confederate Pursuit, and the Aftermath of the Battle, Sept. 21-Oct. 20, 1863.  The event is from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, Sept. 16-17, at the Chickamauga Chattanooga National Military Park.  ... (click for more)

State Board In Nashville Approves New Erlanger Behavioral Health Hospital

Members of the board of the Tennessee Health Services and Development Agency in Nashville on Wednesday unanimously approved a new $25 million Behavioral Health Hospital planned by Erlanger Health Systems on Holzclaw Avenue.   Parkridge Valley Hospital and CADAS had opposed the issuance of Certificate of Need.  The 88-bed facility will provide "acute adult inpatient ... (click for more)

Pinkston Says Offer Was Made To Dismiss Lawsuit Against Him If Prosecution Of Detective Burns Was Dropped; Judge Greenholtz "Greatly Bothered" By Any Such Offer

District Attorney Neal Pinkston said at a hearing Tuesday that an offer was made to drop a lawsuit filed against him by Gatlinburg detective Rodney Burns if he would dismiss two perjury counts against Burns. The district attorney said he should not be disqualified from continuing to prosecute the case or else attorneys would begin suing him or the judge to get a new DA or trial ... (click for more)

Downtown Needs Cleaned Up

My son and I parked on Broad Street and walked to the Billiard Club on Cherry Street this past weekend. It's probably a total of two blocks. In that short walk we passed where Rone Regency used to be on 6th Street and in that doorway was about a years worth of human feces and urine covering the doors and walls. The concrete sidewalk on the street is all broken up and the metal ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Ooltewah & The Bullies

During the week of Christmas I got an email from a longtime friend at the Knoxville News-Sentinel that laughingly wondered what kind of basketball do you people play (in Chattanooga?) It included sketchy details of the rape, and subsequent surgery, of an Ooltewah High School basketball player who had been assaulted by his own teammates at a Gatlinburg holiday tournament. Today ... (click for more)