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.


North Market Street Closures Announced For Utility Work

The southbound and center lanes of North Market Street will be closed from  8:30 a.m.-4 p.m.  on  Monday through Wednesday, for a utility project at 109 N. Market St. Traffic will be detoured west on Kent Street, then south on Velma Street, east on Cherokee Boulevard, and back to Market Street.  In order to view a map of all closures, ... (click for more)

Volunteers Needed For Democrat Block Party In Jasper On Oct. 8

Volunteers are needed for a Democrat block party, that will be held on the Marion County courthouse lawn in Jasper, from 12-3 p.m. on Oct. 8. For more information on how to get involved, call 423 939-9805 or 423 457-2080. (click for more)

Highway 58 Man Charged In Fatal Hit And Run In Dayton, Tn.

A Highway 58 man has been arrested in connection with a fatal hit and run of a Rhea County man.   Walter Hale was badly injured and later died after he was struck in Dayton.   Authorities were led to Douglas Edward Alvey, 52, through video from the We Care business in Dayton, where the 60-year-old victim worked.   After officers with the Dayton ... (click for more)

Man, 78, Found Dead With Gunshot Wound To The Chest At Residence On Central Avenue

A 78-year-old man has been found dead with a gunshot wound to the chest at a residence on Central Avenue. Chattanooga Police were called to the 1900 block of Central Avenue on Thursday at 10:08 a.m. Upon arrival, Chattanooga Police officers located George Garth deceased. At this time there is no suspect information available. Chattanooga Violent Crimes Bureau investigators ... (click for more)

Patrol Car Donation To The Nation Of Islam Sets A Dangerous Precedent

Re: City Police donating two patrol cars to Kevin Muhammad's Nation of Islam: While I know it's unpopular to mention the wisdom of separation of church and state, this sets a dangerous precedent and should meet with concern from everyone who values religious and secular freedom. What's next? Southern Baptists getting old city parking scooters to patrol church parking lots ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Our Official State Rifle

There was a noticeable crowd of free-thinkers who ran around like so many “Chicken Littles” back in February when “the hicks” in the state legislature named a gun that is made only in Tennessee as the Official State Rifle. As we seem to always find out afterwards, the goofs who are quick to make such liberal racket have no earthy concept of reality or purpose. In the tiny town ... (click for more)