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.

Fire Started By Wall Heater Prompts Safety Warning From Fire Marshal

Chattanooga firefighters responded to a house fire at 2820 4th Ave. shortly before 4 p.m. on Thursday. Captain Brandon Schroyer with Engine 9 said heavy smoke was showing when the first firefighters arrived on the scene. The firefighters made entry into the house and located the fire in a back bedroom. Battalion Chief Ashley May said the firefighters had the fire out within ... (click for more)

CUFI Presents "A Night To Honor Israel"

Christians United for Israel, along with churches in North Georgia and the Greater Chattanooga area, invites the community to a “Night to Honor Israel” on Thursday, Nov. 10 at 7 p.m. at the Colonnade, 264 Catoosa Circle in Ringgold.   "The purpose of this event is to show solidarity between Jewish people and Christians in their support of Israel," officials said. The ... (click for more)

Domestic Assault Charge Dismissed Against Bobby Stone In Case Involving Mayor's Top Advisor; Stone Says Berke Had Inappropriate Relationship With His Wife; Says Berke And Fletcher Conspired To Arrest Him

A charge of domestic assault was dismissed Friday morning against Bobby Stone in a case involving a top advisor to Mayor Andy Berke.  Afterward, Mr. Stone told reporters that the mayor had an inappropriate relationship with his wife, Lacie Stone. He also charged that Mayor Berke and Police Chief Fred Fletcher conspired to arrest him. Mr. Stone is expected to file ... (click for more)

Christopher Padgett Taken Into Custody

A Chattanooga man who went on the lam after cutting off his ankle monitor and failing to show up for the third day of his felony murder trial is back in custody. Christopher Padgett was arrested by Chattanooga Police in the 3200 block of South Street at 12:55 a.m. He had made a $350,000 bond just before the start of his trial in the slaying of taxi driver Nathan ... (click for more)

Literacy Is Critical

Government spending is often portrayed as a freight train "quickly running out of track." And there is some truth to that statement. There is not an endless supply of money to fund every good idea that comes along, and we must acknowledge that problem. Fiscal responsibility is a must.  That is why spending on priority issues like public education is important. You can spend ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Prayer Over Despair

As a strong proponent of early voting, I joined hundreds at the Hamilton County Election Commission headquarters on Amnicola Highway yesterday to exercise what I consider one of our greatest freedoms – “for the people, by the people.” Candidly, I have never been as upset or as disappointed over my choices for President in my life. Locally I am fine with our candidates but to pick ... (click for more)