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Troopers stepping up patrols for Labor Day; checkpoint planned in Roane

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Tennessee Highway Patrol troopers will be out in force this Labor Day weekend to ensure the safety of travelers on the state's roadways.

The holiday enforcement period will begin on Friday, Sept. 2, and conclude on Monday, Sept. 5. A driver's license checkpoint is planned in Roane County on Sept. 5 on Hwy. 61 at mile marker 9.

“Troopers will be out in force working tirelessly across the state to ensure the summer period comes to a safe close,” said Col. Tracy Trott of the Tennessee Highway Patrol.

“Our high-visibility enforcement effort which includes saturation patrols, bar and tavern checks and sobriety checkpoints, will help remove impaired drivers from Tennessee roadways. Our goal is to remove unsafe motorists from the roadway before they injure or kill themself or an innocent person.”

During the 2015 Labor Day holiday, 14 people were killed in 14 fatal crashes on Tennessee roadways. Alcohol was involved in six of the fatalities, and 55.6 percent of vehicle occupants killed were not wearing seatbelts resulting in nine unrestrained fatalities.

 

“The ultimate goal is to save lives on Tennessee roadways,” said Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security Commissioner David Purkey. “We will not tolerate reckless drivers, distracted drivers, or driving under the influence. It is critical that motorists obey the traffic laws to ensure a safe arrival. It’s important to always choose a designated driver or car service if you plan to drink.”

 

 

Distracted driving, DUI and seatbelts are just three of the categories that THP has focused on throughout the year especially during the holidays. THP will target high-traffic crash and fatality areas during the Labor Day weekend.

 

 

In 2015, THP made 5,260 DUI arrests from January to August. In 2016, THP made 5,735 DUI Arrests during the same dates. That's a 9.03 percent increase since 2015.

 

In Tennessee, the preliminary number of alcohol-related crashes has decreased 4.1 percent through the first eight months of 2016 compared to that same time period last year. From January through August of this year, there have been 4,126 crashes involving impaired drivers. That is 178 fewer than the 4,304 crashes during those same dates in 2015.

 

Seatbelt usage is another contributing factor in crashes across the state. To date, 44.9 percent of vehicle occupants killed in crashes were not wearing seatbelts.

 

As of Aug. 31, preliminary statistics indicate that 656 people have died on Tennessee roadways. This is an increase of nearly 8.0 percent compared to the 607 fatalities at this same time last year.

 

Visit tn.gov/safety/article/checkpoints for a list of Labor Day enforcement checkpoints in other counties.

 

The Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security’s (www.TN.Gov/safety) mission is to serve, secure, and protect the people of Tennessee.