Eight die in Memorial Day collisions
Tuesday, June 4, 2013 8:47 am
Eight people were killed during this year's Memorial Day holiday period, the Tennessee Highway Patrol reported.
That total is half the 16 deaths that occurred during the 2012 Memorial Day holiday period.
This year's holiday traffic deaths included five vehicle occupants, one bicyclist and two motorcyclists. Two of the five vehicle occupants were not wearing safety restraints and three of the fatalities were alcohol-related.
"The preliminary statistics on this year's Memorial Day traffic figures and the decline in overall vehicular fatalities is an encouraging sign that enforcement efforts and traffic safety education campaigns are effective. State Troopers, local law enforcement and highway safety advocates are making an impact across the state," THP Colonel Tracy Trott said.
The THP enforcement activity increased in several categories during this year's Memorial Day holiday period. State Troopers arrested 116 suspects for driving under the influence and issued 1,384 seat belt citations this holiday.
In 2012, the number of DUI arrests and seat belt citations issued were 94 and 1,067, respectively. The total of commercial vehicle inspections also increased from 550 to 688 during the 2013 Memorial Day period.
Overall, year-to-date preliminary data indicate 353 people have died on Tennessee roadways, compared to 412 fatalities this same time period last year. That's a decrease of 59 traffic fatalities.
The 78-hour holiday enforcement period ran from 6 p.m., Friday, May 24 through 11:59 p.m., Monday, May 27.
While no fatalities were recorded in Cannon County, three did occur in nearby counties including one on Interstate 24 in Rutherford County. A second fatality was recorded in DeKalb County, while a third occurred in Wilson County.
In 1976, 26 people were killed in traffic accidents in Tennessee during the Memorial Day holiday period. The lowest death total was in 2002 when only five persons died.