Governor's Highway Safety Office Announces Increase In Seat Belt Usage

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The Governor’s Highway Safety Office (GHSO) and the Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP) announced an increase in seat belt usage with an observed usage rate of 87.7 percent statewide for the month of June.  That’s an increase from the previous usage rate of 84.6 percent.  

The seat belt survey is performed by the University of Tennessee (Knoxville) Center for Transportation Research. The survey, which is conducted in accordance with federal requirements and standards, is state mandated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). 

“We are extremely pleased to see this solid increase in seat belt usage in Tennessee. As fatalities have decreased, this is further proof that seat belts save lives, and that’s what we are in the business to do,” GHSO Director Poole said. “This all-time high in usage also means that our ‘Click It or Ticket’ campaign, combining education with the enforcement efforts of the Tennessee Highway Patrol and every single local law enforcement partner across the state, has been a productive partnership,” he added. 

State Troopers have issued 4,666 seat belt citations during this year’s Click it or Ticket campaign, which ran from May 19 through June 1. Since January 1, 2014, THP personnel have ticketed 58,842 individuals for violation of the seat belt law. 

“Since the beginning of 2012, our agency has implemented an aggressive seat belt enforcement program,” Colonel Tracy Trott said. “We’ve seen a 236 percent increase in the number of seat belt citations state troopers have issued since then. I’m thankful to the troopers who have worked so hard in this area, along with our partners at GHSO, the Tennessee Association of Chiefs of Police and the Tennessee Sheriffs’ Association who have helped us achieve this level of safety for our citizens,” he added.    

Colonel Trott also noted that Tennessee’s percentage of unrestrained fatalities is at a five-year low. Both the THP and the GHSO are committed to proactive enforcement and education to lower the fatality figure and continue to increase the seat belt usage rate. 

“We still have room for improvement in all areas and demographics and will continue our efforts to reach even higher goals and save even more lives in Tennessee,” Director Poole said. 

As of July 14, preliminary statistics indicate 476 people have died on Tennessee roadways, a decrease of 29 deaths compared to 505 fatalities at this same time in 2013. To date, 49.7 percent of the state’s fatalities have been unrestrained motorists.


Special Event Street Closures For March 27-April 1

Monday, March 27 Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day: Reggie White Boulevard will be closed from the entrance to the skate park at the First TN Pavilion to W. 19th Street for this event that includes a supper and a ceremony to give veterans a Vietnam War Commemorative Lapel Pin. Visit the group's Facebook page for more information. Saturday, April 1 Coker Tire Spring ... (click for more)

Vendors Needed For Red Bank Middle School Earth Day Festival

Red Bank Middle School Earth Day Festival, sponsored by the school science department, will be held on Saturday, April 22, from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. at Red Bank Middle School, 3701 Tom Weathers Dr.  Organizers are searching for vendors to sell arts and crafts at the middle school.  Donations for the 101 available parking spaces will be $25 for the day.  The seven ... (click for more)

State Says "Beef" Between 2 Bloods Gangs Started Over A Female And Led Eventually To Shootings At College Hill Courts

The state presented testimony on Monday about a feud between two Bloods gangs that allegedly eventually led to a 16-year-old shooting up a unit at College Hill Courts - killing one woman, injuring another, leaving a child paralyzed and injuring a member of the other Bloods gang. A city police gang expert said the bitter rift between the Athens Park Bloods based on the Southside ... (click for more)

Search On For Chad Cook, Missing Since Early Monday Morning After Going Dirt Bike Riding On Walden's Ridge

Walden's Ridge Emergency Services has been assisting the Sequatchie County Sheriff's Office searching for a missing person from Hamilton County since 10:30 a.m. Monday. Chad Cook, 38, was last heard from by family members at 2 a.m. Monday. Family members reported to Sequatchie County Sheriff's Office personnel around 2 a.m. that he, along with two males and one female, were ... (click for more)

Slaxxon Regret - And Response

Back in the seventies my three oldest brothers had a buddy named Steve Slack. “Slack” was a star soccer player at Baylor and he grew up on Lookout Mountain, which is where I grew up. He and Jimmy, Henry and Bill went to the University of Virginia where they were roommates in an old, beat up house that was painted pink. Naturally, the place became known as the “Pink Palace” but lest ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Oh Yes, I Loved West

One of my most beloved friends died early Saturday morning at the age of 67. Then again, West Oehmig’s only brother – King – died a couple of years ago at 63 so it wasn’t by happenstance I remembered Abraham Lincoln’s famous line: “In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count, it’s the life in your years.” Here are two brothers who lived larger than any other pair I can ... (click for more)