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.


Local Girls Inc. President Elected To National Bird

Bea Lurie, President and CEO  of Girls Inc. of Chattanooga, has been elected to the National Board of Girls Inc., the organization that inspires all girls to be strong, smart, and bold. Ms. Lurie will serve as a Regional Professional Representative.   Ms. Lurie joined Girls Inc. of Chattanooga in 2007 as President and CEO. Under her leadership, the organization ... (click for more)

Bradley County Reserve Officers Sworn In

Sheriff Eric Watson and members of the Command Staff of the Bradley County Sheriff's Office were in attendance on Friday at the swearing in of Reserve Deputy Sheriffs, Public Service Officers and members of the Senior Visitation Staff. The event was held at the Judicial Center and was presided over by Criminal Court Judge Sandra Donaghy, who administered the Oaths of Office. ... (click for more)

Man Found Floating Near Manufacturers Road Was Steven Paul Calhoon, 34

The body found floating in the Tennessee River on Sunday morning downtown has been identified as 34-year-old Steven Paul Calhoon. C hattanooga Police are awaiting the results from the Medical Examiner’s Office to determine the cause of death. At 8:31 a.m.,  the Chattanooga Police Department was dispatched to 530 Manufacturers Road on a found body. Police said ... (click for more)

Bare Majority On County Commission Approves Support For Abortion Amendment

A bare majority of the County Commission on Wednesday morning voted to support an upcoming ballot amendment curbing abortion in Tennessee. Several commissioners said the issue was out of the commission's purview, and the vote should not have taken place. In favor were Sabrena Smedley, Randy Fairbanks, Jim Fields, Marty Haynes and Chester Bankston. Greg Beck and Warren Mackey ... (click for more)

How To Reform The City Industrial Development Board - And Response (3)

My aims is to bring to the public’s attention the need for procedural changes that, if implemented, would significantly improve the information available the public, to the City Council and to the City Industrial Development Board about the verifiable benefits and costs of tax incentive financing structures and to make the entire process transparent. The public, the City ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: My October Garden

Hark! It is the first day of October and, as I make my monthly stroll through the garden, I find a growing numbers of leaves and acorns. Autumn leaves are beautiful while acorns are nuts, thus you will get the idea as we make our monthly awards: A PRETTY LEAF to Phil Hughes after the Minnesota Twins pitcher came within one inning of earning a $500,000 bonus this season. The deal ... (click for more)