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HomeNewsAAA addresses Legislators with Traffic Safety and Transportation Funding Concerns

AAA addresses Legislators with Traffic Safety and Transportation Funding Concerns

AAANashville, TN – The number of deaths on Tennessee’s roads last year remained below one thousand, AAA reported in its annual State of Safety presentation. This, at a time when the national trend is toward an 8.1 percent increase in road fatalities, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Tim Wright, Tennessee Regional President, AAA – The Auto Club Group and Don Lindsey, Tennessee Public Affairs Director, also described to the state’s House and Senate transportation committees the efforts other states are making to deal with their shrinking transportation revenue.

Tennessee is bucking the national trend in traffic fatalities, but needs to take action on transportation funding.
Tennessee is bucking the national trend in traffic fatalities, but needs to take action on transportation funding.

Citing Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security preliminary figures, AAA said there were 961 fatalities on Tennessee roads last year which was approximately the same number as in 2014.

However, December 2015 proved to be the deadliest month on Tennessee’s roads in more than six years. It saw a 30 percent increase over December of 2014.

Distracted driving, AAA noted, is still a problem. It was involved in almost 23,000 crashes and 51 deaths last year, an eight percent increase over 2014. The Tennessee Highway Patrol issued 21 percent more texting citations, and more than 5,700 due care citations.

The auto club also pointed out that seatbelt usage dropped in 2015 to 86.2 percent. Deaths of unbelted vehicle occupants continue to represent almost half of the fatalities in vehicles where belts were available. They also addressed drug- and alcohol-related fatalities, wrong-way crashes and other traffic safety issues.

“One fatality is too many and Tennessee’s safety community continues to work every hour toward zero fatalities on our roads,” said Wright.

AAA also reported on several states that took action in 2015 to increase transportation funding. According to a study conducted by the Federal Highway Administration, $100 million spent on highway safety improvements will save 145 lives over a 10-year period.

They cited nine states who took action in 2015 to maintain or increase transportation funding. “We urge the state to find fair, solid and creative ways to pay for transportation projects that meet the citizen’s needs,” said Wright. “That will bring us tremendous economic and safety benefits.”

To read the full comments made before the Transportation Committees of the Senate and House of Representative click here.

About The Auto Club Group

The Auto Club Group (ACG) is the second largest AAA club in North America.  ACG and its affiliates provide membership, travel, insurance and financial services offerings to over 9 million members across eleven states and two U.S. territories including Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Michigan, Nebraska, North Dakota, Tennessee, Wisconsin, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands; most of Illinois and Minnesota; and a portion of Indiana.

ACG belongs to the national AAA federation with more than 55 million members in the United States and Canada and whose mission includes protecting and advancing freedom of mobility and improving traffic safety.

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