published Tuesday, November 22nd, 2011

Tennessee motorists can expect crackdown during Thanksgiving weekend

JOE EDWARDS, Associated Press

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — About 900,000 people are projected to travel by car over the long holiday weekend in Tennessee and a special law enforcement crackdown will be in effect against traffic violators.

State troopers and local officers will be on the lookout for seat belt violators, impaired drivers and speeders.

"Impaired driving will not be tolerated," said Kendell Poole, director of the Governor's Highway Safety Office. "There will be no warnings or excuses. If you drive drunk, you will be stopped and you will be arrested.

"But speeding, distracted driving and failing to wear your seat belt will also cost you. ... We will be out in force to help save more lives on Tennessee's roadways."

Tennessee and Oklahoma are testing a new high visibility enforcement campaign dubbed "More Cops, More Stops." The state highway safety office is partnering with the U.S. Department of Transportation and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in the demonstration project.

Recent statistics show 60 percent of passenger vehicle occupants killed in Tennessee crashes were not wearing seat belts.

"Seat belt use is the single most effective way to protect people in vehicle crashes," a news release from the Tennessee Department of Transportation said.

Twenty-one percent of fatal accidents in the state involved speeding vehicles. About one-third of the deadly crashes involved drunken driving.

Tennessee had 1,031 traffic fatalities in 2010. So far this year, 837 people have died in traffic accidents, down from 950 at this time a year ago.

Meanwhile, state transportation officials will halt all lane closures during the weekend in anticipation of increased traffic volume. However, workers may be on site in some construction zones.

"We want to provide maximum capacity, alleviate as much congestion as possible and help travelers avoid unnecessary delays," said John Schroer, commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Transportation.

Adding to the state's vulnerability for traffic accidents is Tennessee's lengthy and widely used interstate system, totaling more than 1,100 miles. Interstates 75, 65 and 24 are main routes between much of the Midwest and points south; I-40 is an east-west route connecting the two coasts; I-55 connects Memphis and New Orleans.

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brokentoe said...

Tennessee must be coming up short on cash again. Shaking down its citizens like a mafia. This is a surefire way to kill your tourist and shopping industry. Why bother to go out and shop when it's more convenient and less of a hassle to shop online? This is the most worse time of the year to be shaking down citizens for money. But go ahead! Keep shooting yourselves in the foot.

November 22, 2011 at 1:59 p.m.
librul said...

Forget feet - drivers who can't or won't obey speed laws ought to be shot in the head.

November 22, 2011 at 2:03 p.m.
brokentoe said...

librul, it's not about obeying traffic laws. It's about money. Examples of what happens when greed, power and corruption share the same philosophy.

What goes into a police report? It's a police officer's version of events, right? And that police report can play a big role in people's lives -- even if it bears little or no resemblance to what actually happened. That appears to be the case with Chicago Police Officer Joe D. Parker, whose official story about a DUI arrest -- a story that could have convicted a man and stripped him of his driver's license -- is flatly contradicted by the video from Parker's car.

Being arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI) can cost a motorist thousands of dollars in court fines, insurance costs and attorneys’ fees. At least 79 accused drivers were notified last Friday that the police officer that charged them with drunk driving had likely falsified at least one piece of evidence. Sacramento County District Attorney Jan Scully threw out the cases after an investigation into the conduct of Sacramento Police Officer Brandon Mullock, 24.

Scully opened the inquiry into Mullock’s conduct after a deputy district attorney preparing a DUI case for trial watched a dashcam arrest video and noticed that the raw footage differed substantially from Mullock’s written account

November 22, 2011 at 2:13 p.m.
enufisenuf said...

more cops more stops, if you break the law you will get caught? Catch me you revenue agents.

November 22, 2011 at 2:16 p.m.
01centare said...

Tennessee's police pension funds are falling short. Claiming to be stopping citizens for their own safety is just a cover because they're trying to head off a disaster in the pension fund. A portion of the money for every ticket they write goes into their pension fund. Knoxville is alreayd struggling with is police pension fund due to bad investments in the stock market.

The the stores hurt this holiday season it's because citizen fear the risk of being stopped by police on trumped up charges. It's much easier these days to just shop online rather than deal with the added headache of being ticketed and having to pay a fine when the money could be put to better use. Save on gas, Save on everything SHOP ONLINE is the new way to go!

November 22, 2011 at 2:54 p.m.
WHS1970 said...

It's for the children!!

November 22, 2011 at 3:46 p.m.
lonerstoner said...

looks to me like there are a few police perpes in the news , a Collegedale officer , chatt offier , hmm but serriousely I drive the speed limit and still get run over buy lane changers , speeders, just bad drivers

November 22, 2011 at 5:57 p.m.
chioK_V said...

lonerstoner, I usually get run off the road by tailgating cops darn near riding my bumper. Changing lanes without signalling and running stop signs. Saw one just a week or so ago turn on his lights just to run a red light and as soon as he got through the light he turned them off and went on his way.

November 22, 2011 at 6:30 p.m.
RetiredMarshal said...

As long as your obeying the law you have nothing to worry about.Its the "Click it or Ticket" deal so buckel up people and cross your "T"s and "dot your eyes".

November 22, 2011 at 7:33 p.m.
Eric said...

I think it's obvious from any of us who travel the roads that traffic laws are widely ignored. Take one trip on 75 between Shallowford and Georgia and you would think the speed limit is 75 instead of 55. Maybe if drivers actually followed the posted traffic laws there wouldn't be so many accidents.

Traffic laws are there for a reason. If you think they are unfair than campaign to get them changed. But until then, don't fault the hard working men and women whose duty it is to make sure the roads are safe for everyone.

November 22, 2011 at 8:49 p.m.
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