Preliminary Figures Show Seven Deaths
Nashville, TN – The Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security announced today that the decline in traffic fatalities continues as preliminary figures for the 2011 Fourth of July holiday period resulted in the lowest number of deaths since 1998 (8). Early estimates indicate seven people were killed in traffic crashes on Tennessee roadways during the 78-hour holiday weekend, which ran from 6:00pm, Friday, July 1st, through 11:59pm, Monday, July 4th.The seven fatalities is also a drop from the 15 deaths that occurred during last year’s Fourth of July period. This year’s holiday vehicular fatalities included six vehicle occupants and one motorcyclist. Four of the victims were not wearing safety restraints and none of the deaths were alcohol-related, compared to one impaired driving death in 2010 and two in 2009.
“We have placed a tremendous emphasis on DUI enforcements throughout the year, and the preliminary figures on overall traffic deaths are encouraging,” said Tennessee Highway Patrol Colonel Tracy Trott. “Our DUI arrests have increased 30.7 percent during the first six months of this year and traffic fatalities have decreased 15 percent during that time period.”
Impaired driving deaths decreased from 377 in 2007 to 303 in 2009, and over a five-year period (2005-2009), 30.6 percent of traffic deaths were attributed to alcohol impairment. Overall, year-to-date preliminary data indicate 458 people have died on Tennessee roadways, compared to 541 fatalities this same time period in 2010. Colonel Trott concluded that THP enforcement efforts are effective and State Troopers were saving lives.
The Tennessee Highway Patrol conducted more than 80 driver license and sobriety checkpoints throughout the state during this past holiday weekend. State Troopers also teamed up with local law enforcement to conduct simultaneous saturation patrols on interstates and highways.
Preliminary statistics for the Fourth of July holiday are also attached. Please note that the statistical data for the July 4th holiday weekend is preliminary and is subject to change due to some delays in reporting.
About the Tennessee Department of Safety
The Tennessee Department of Safety’s mission is (www.TN.Gov/safety) 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.