NASHVILLE - Tennessee drivers beware. The Governor's Highway Safety Office (GHSO) is teaming with the Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP) and local law enforcement agencies all across the state beginning today through the busy Thanksgiving travel season to crack down on traffic safety violations.
State and local law enforcement will be out in force to remind all drivers and passengers to never drink and drive, always buckle up, obey the speed limit, and eliminate all distractions inside their vehicles while driving.
This special enforcement crackdown is part of the state's new "More Cops. More Stops." campaign, which will focus on saving lives on Tennessee's roadways.
"Unfortunately, the holiday season brings a higher number of injuries and fatalities on Tennessee roadways," said Tennessee Department of Transportation Commissioner John Schroer. "Many of those tragedies could be prevented by obeying basic highway safety laws. Over the next several days, drivers can expect 'More Cops and More Stops' across the state as we try to keep everyone safe this Thanksgiving."
Sixty-nine percent of 18 to 34 year old passenger vehicle occupants killed in Tennessee crashes in 2009 were NOT wearing their seat belts at the time of the crash.
"Not wearing your seat belt will get you a ticket, but we will also be cracking down on speeding and distracted driving, and especially on anyone drinking and driving," said THP Colonel Tracy Trott.
Nearly one-third of those killed on Tennessee's highways in 2009 involved drivers or motorcycle operators with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or above at the time of the deadly crash.
Tennessee is one of only two states partnering with the U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on this important national demonstration project. The 'More Cops. More Stops.' project will test the effectiveness of a new combined high visibility enforcement campaign designed to reduce drunk driving, boost seat belt use, and crack down on speeding and distracted driving, particularly among young adult males.
Research and fatal crash statistics show that young adult males are most likely to practice high-risk behaviors while driving, such as not wearing seat belts and/or drinking and driving.
"Impaired driving will not be tolerated. There will be no warnings or excuses. If you drive drunk, you will be stopped and you will be arrested," said Director Kendell Poole, GHSO. "But speeding, distracted driving and failing to wear your seat belt will also cost you. Please help us get the word out this Thanksgiving season. During the 'More Cops. More Stops.' campaign, we will be out in force to help save more lives on Tennessee's roadways."