Drop in Fatalities Coincides with Increase in DUI Arrests
Nashville, TN – Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP) Colonel Tracy Trott announced Wednesday that the preliminary number of people killed in fatal accidents on Tennessee’s highways and roads is down 15 percent for the first six months of 2011, compared to the same time period in 2010.
The THP reports 440 fatalities in Tennessee from January 1st through June 30th, 2011. That is 77 fewer than the 517 people killed in vehicle accidents during the same dates in 2010. These figures include all vehicular fatalities in Tennessee reported by law enforcement agencies across the state.
Colonel Trott also noted the number of arrests made by state troopers for driving under the influence (DUI) has increased 30.7 percent for the first half of the year, compared to the same time period in 2010. State troopers made 2,132 DUI arrests from January 1st through June 30th, 2011. In 2010, the number of arrests made during that time was 1,631.
“There is a direct correlation between the Tennessee Highway Patrol’s increased efforts to crack down on drunk drivers and the number of people killed in motor vehicle accidents on our roadways,” said Colonel Trott. “The THP is committed to keeping the roads safe for everyone, and we will not let up on our DUI enforcement efforts throughout the year,” he added. In addition to the sobriety checkpoints, the THP also regularly holds seatbelt and driver license checkpoints across the state.
“These numbers are very encouraging. If the trend continues, 2011 could be one of the lowest years on record for reports of fatalities in Tennessee,” said Department of Safety and Homeland Security Commissioner Bill Gibbons. In 2010, a total of 1,031 people were killed in motor vehicle crashes in Tennessee. Preliminary statistics indicate 289 people were killed in traffic crashes in 2010 that involved alcohol (28%). “The THP is saving lives. Our stepped up enforcement efforts are working,” Commissioner Gibbons added.
Statistics for the recent Fourth of July holiday weekend are still being calculated and will be released at a later date.
About the Tennessee Department of Safety
The Tennessee Department of Safety & Homeland Security’s (www.TN.Gov/safety) mission is to ensure the safety and general welfare of the public. The department encompasses the Tennessee Highway Patrol, Office of Homeland Security and Driver License Services. General areas of responsibility include law enforcement, safety education, motorist services and terrorism prevention.