Tennessee Highway Patrol To Increase Visibility During Fourth Of July Weekend

Thursday, July 3, 2014

The Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP) will conduct a high-visibility enforcement campaign during this year’s Fourth of July holiday period, beginning at 12:01 a.m. on Thursday, July 3 and ending at midnight on Sunday, July 6.  State troopers will utilize a variety of traffic safety tools, such as driver’s license, sobriety and seat belt checkpoints, saturation patrols, and “No Refusal” enforcement, in an effort to reduce serious injury and fatal crashes on Tennessee roadways.

In 2013, 19 people were killed in 15 fatal crashes in Tennessee during the 102-hour holiday period. That’s down from 21 vehicular fatalities during the 2012 Fourth of July period. Of the 19 traffic fatalities last year, five (26.3%) were alcohol-related and 13 (86.7%) were not wearing safety restraints, including one child passenger. One all-terrain vehicle (ATV) rider also died during the holiday period.

“We urge all Tennesseans and visitors traveling through our state to wear their seat belts,” Colonel Tracy Trott said. “State troopers will aggressively seek out violators of the seat belt law and those driving recklessly or distracted. It’s our goal to get everyone to their destination safely,” he added.

During the first six months of 2014, preliminary statistics show that 52 percent of traffic fatalities were unrestrained motorists and 77 vehicular deaths (17.5 %) involved an alcohol-impaired driver.

Two counties in middle Tennessee, specifically Bedford and Rutherford Counties, have been designated “No Refusal” areas during the Fourth of July holiday period. “No Refusal” permits law enforcement officials to seek search warrants for blood samples in cases involving suspected impaired drivers. THP District Captains have selected those counties based on an increase in crashes, DUI-related, injury or fatal.

“One of our priorities as an agency is DUI enforcement,” Colonel Trott said. “The collective goal is to keep drunk drivers off the road and reduce alcohol-related fatalities on state roadways. State troopers will work hard throughout the holiday period to keep the roads safe.”  

State troopers arrested 132 individuals statewide on suspicion of impaired driving during last year’s Fourth of July period. 

As of July 1, preliminary statistics indicate 441 people have died on Tennessee roadways, a decrease of 17 deaths compared to 458 fatalities at this same time in 2013. 



Tennessee Highway Patrol Announces Second Trooper Cadet Lateral Class

The Tennessee Highway Patrol will soon be accepting applications for the second lateral trooper class.  Men and women interested in a career as a state trooper can begin the application process online at 12:01 a.m. on Wednesday, March 8 through 11:59 p.m. Tuesday, March 21.     Preferred qualifications for the lateral class will be Peace Officers Standards and ... (click for more)

Omega Phi Alpha To Host Pajama Run For Project 541

The national service sorority Omega Phi Alpha, Sigma Chapter at UTC, will host a 5k Pajama Run on Saturday, April 8, at 9 a.m. This event will be held on UTC's campus to help fund-raise and promote awareness for Project 541.  Project 541 is a nonprofit organization committed to supporting and empowering girls and young women in an impoverished region of Honduras. It ... (click for more)

St. Elmo Woman, 45, Dies At County Workhouse On Wednesday Night; Investigation Underway

An inmate died at the county workhouse at Silverdale on Wednesday night, and an investigation is underway.   She was identified as  Dana Shunice Palmer, 45, of St. Elmo.   Ms. Palmer was booked into the Hamilton County Jail from the Chattanooga Police Department on Feb. 14 on a public Intoxication charge. She was transferred from the jail to CoreCivic ... (click for more)

Shannon Whitfield Raising Rates At Money-Losing Walker County Landfill; Moratorium Placed On Fracking, Deep Well Drilling, Tiny Homes

New Walker County Sole Commissioner Shannon Whitfield is raising rates at the money-losing Walker County Landfill. The higher charges go into effect on March 1. Mr. Whitfield, during his campaign, said the landfill had been losing about $500,000 per year for many years. He said other area landfills were making a profit, but Walker County was having to subsidize its landfill. ... (click for more)

CVB Should Share Financials With The Home Folks

The recent debate over the Convention and Visitor's Bureau's funding and budget has gotten ugly. A Hamilton County commissioner has asked questions and made comments about the CVB. The director of the CVB has organized a campaign to dismiss the commissioner's questions and comments. The children on the playground are choosing sides and nothing useful seems to be happening. It's ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Ed Chief ‘Embarrassed’

At the start of the school year in September, Tennessee’s Commissioner of Education Dr. Candice McQueen held an “educational summit” with state legislators from embattled Hamilton County. The entire “summit” took a prescribed 90 minutes and was such a dog-and-pony show her strongest statement was, "Create your plan around the right vision, have some metrics and align to the right ... (click for more)