State Troopers Target Impaired Drivers And Seat Belt Offenders Over Weekend

Thursday, December 20, 2012

The Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security Thursday announced a reminder that the Tennessee Highway Patrol will be out in force during the Christmas Holiday period to ensure travelers reach their destination safely. State troopers will focus their attention on impaired driving and seat belt usage during the holiday, beginning at 12:01 a.m. on Friday and ending at midnight on Tuesday.

“The focus of this effort is to save lives,” Commissioner Bill Gibbons said.  “I urge all Tennesseans and travelers passing through our state to obey the laws designed to keep them safe, through the holidays and whenever they get behind the wheel.” 

During the 2011 Christmas holiday, nine people were killed on Tennessee roadways in six fatal crashes. Alcohol was involved in 66 percent of those crashes and four of the eight vehicle occupants killed were not wearing seat belts. There was also one pedestrian killed during the 96-hour holiday period.

“Unfortunately, impaired driving is a year-round problem. It becomes especially serious during the holidays as more people are traveling to and from parties and special gatherings,” THP Colonel Tracy Trott said. “Our goal is remove offenders from the roadways and protect the motoring public. We want this joyous time to be safe for everyone, and all of our traffic safety enforcement efforts are created with that goal in mind,” he added.   

The THP will utilize several enforcement tools, including saturation patrols, bar and tavern checks, and driver license and sobriety checkpoints to help reduce serious injury and fatal crashes over the holiday.

The THP said designating a sober driver and not letting friends drive drunk are two of the several steps to help avoid a tragic crash or an arrest for impaired driving. Other tips include: 

Plan ahead: Whenever you plan on consuming alcohol, designate your sober driver before going out and give that person your keys;

If you’re impaired, call a taxi, use mass transit or call a sober friend or family member to get you home safely; 

Promptly report drunk drivers you see on the roadways to the Tennessee Highway Patrol by dialing  *THP;

Wearing your seat belt or using protective gear on your motorcycle is your best defense against an impaired driver; 

Friends Don’t Let Friends Drive Drunk.  If you know someone who is about to drive or ride while impaired, take their keys and help them make other arrangements to get to where they are going safely.


PHOTOS: Kyle Avenue Strut On Lookout Mountain

Children and their methods of conveyance were the stars of the Kyle Avenue Strut at Lookout Mountain, Tn. (click for more)

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)

Boy In Critical Condition; Another Person Stabbed And Man Shot In Dispute At Apartments On Citico Avenue

A boy is in critical condition after being stabbed on Sunday afternoon in what police described as a dispute between neighbors. One other person was stabbed and a man was shot in the melee in the 2700 block of Citico Avenue. The injuries to the second person stabbed and the shooting victim were said to be not life-threatening. the incident happened at the City View Apartments. ... (click for more)

Woman, 25, Shot On Dodson Avenue Early Sunday Afternoon

A 25-year-old woman was shot onDodson Avenue just after noon on Sunday. Officers with the Chattanooga Police Department were notified at 12:13 p.m. by a local hospital that a victim arrived with a gunshot wound. The shooting reportedly occurred in the 1300 block of Dodson Avenue. Shaday Millener arrived at the hospital in a personal vehicle with a non-life threatening ... (click for more)

Patrol Cars Donation To Kevin Muhammad's 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: Thanks A Lot For Nothing

Somebody should have gotten an award last Tuesday when a 90-minute “education summit” involving our school leaders, politicians and media produced absolutely nothing. Zilch. Zero. Oh, there are a number of candidates we could give an award for “nothing,” both in our school district and on its fringes. Yet to find Tennessee Commissioner of Education Candice McQueen brought her high-and-mighty ... (click for more)