Nashville, TN – The Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP) plans to increase patrols and utilize a variety of traffic safety enforcement tools to reduce the number of serious injury and fatal crashes across the state during this year’s Memorial Day holiday period. The THP will conduct saturation patrols, seat belt and sobriety checkpoints, as well as increased visibility on high-crash corridors throughout the summer to reduce serious injury and fatal crashes.
“This is not the typical Memorial Day that signals the start of summer travel,” Colonel Dereck Stewart said. “We continue to see fatalities on the rise with fewer vehicles on the road. I have instructed Troopers to proactively enforce seat belt laws, reckless and impaired driving this weekend and throughout the summer months. These behaviors are the common contributors to injury and death on the roadways of Tennessee.
Last year, 23 people were killed in vehicular crashes during the Memorial Day weekend.
Three (27%) of the 11 occupant fatalities were not wearing safety restraints and two (8.7%) of the traffic fatalities occurred in an alcohol- related crash.
Seven motorcycle riders were killed, and no all-terrain vehicle riders died during last year’s Memorial Day holiday. One pedestrian was also killed during that time.
“Our primary goal is to honor this Memorial Day weekend by reducing the number of crashes and traffic fatalities across Tennessee,” Tennessee,Department of Safety and Homeland Security Commissioner Jeff Long said. “We continue to see an increase in distracted driving crashes resulting in injuries and fatalities. We hope that drivers will make safe choices when traveling on our roadways. State Troopers will do their best to enforce the traffic laws and keep all Tennesseans safe.”
State troopers arrested 118 individuals on suspicion of DUI and ticketed 721 motorists for violation of the seat belt law during last year’s Memorial Day holiday.
The Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security’s (www.TN.Gov/safety) mission is to serve, secure, and protect the people of Tennessee.