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. 


Special Event Street Closures For July 28-30

Friday, July 28 Nightfall Concert Series: Closures include Market from 10th to 8th, MLK Blvd. from Broad St. to Georgia Ave. from 5:30-11:59 p.m. The Nightfall Concert Series is free to the public and held each Friday till Aug. 25 outdoors in Miller Plaza. This Friday's headliner is The Greyhounds with local opener Rick Rushing and Blues Strangers beginning at 7 p.m. Visit ... (click for more)

Samaritan Center's Stock Their Lockers Begins Monday

The Samaritan Center’s Stock Their Lockers, a program that allows students kindergarten through 12th grade to receive a backpack-full of school supplies, kicked off on Monday with a special visit from Stewart Payne and his Readmobile from Read 20.   Mr. Payne spent time reading to children in the Center’s Farrow Community Corner, now transformed into a Dr. Seuss-themed ... (click for more)

3 Hikers Missing In Big Soddy Creek Gulf Area Are Found Safe

Three hikers missing since Sunday afternoon at Big Soddy Creek Gulf have been found safe. They left around noon, and were supposed to return around 6 p.m. The hikers are a married couple and their friend. They are avid hikers. Crews with the Soddy Daisy Police and Fire Departments began searching at daybreak on Monday. (click for more)

Pair Arrested In Connection With Lookout Mountain Vehicle Thefts, Break-Ins

Police on Lookout Mountain said two arrests have been made tied to the theft of  two vehicles stolen from a home in Lookout Mountain, Ga., last week.   In connection to the vehicle thefts, seven other vehicles were entered and several items were stolen. Lookout Mountain, Ga., Chief Todd Gann said, "Early  Wednesday  morning, a Georgia resident noticed ... (click for more)

Do Something To Protect Our Children

It is unconscionable in this day and age that these children had to exist in such deplorable conditions and that an innocent baby suffered and died alone in a locked car.  Yes, there is blame and accountability considering this family had child neglect charges filed a few years ago (that were apparently dropped and expunged) and a large part of the responsibility should ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Not Many Know This

The best story of the summer – by far – came out of Panama City over the Fourth of July weekend when over 80 total strangers on a Panama City beach responded to screams. Two boys, ages 14 and 11, were caught in a rip tide and all of these “angels” quickly formed a human chain -- over 80 people with their arms locked -- to stretch out in the water, reach those kids and tug them out ... (click for more)