THP uses enforcement campaigns to improve safety


thp-checkpoint1NASHVILLE-Preliminary figures indicate the number of traffic fatalities on Tennessee roadways declined sharply in 2008, and the Tennessee Department of Safety (TDOS) and the Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP) is dedicated to continuing that trend in 2009.

This year, the Tennessee Highway Patrol will once again participate in several enforcement initiatives aimed at saving lives in Tennessee.

Preliminary figures show that traffic fatalities declined by more than 200 from the previous year, from 1211 in 2007, to 1002 in 2008.

“We are encouraged that our safety messages are hitting home, but we still have a lot of work to do,” said Safety Commissioner Dave Mitchell. “Governor Phil Bredesen has made it clear that safe communities are one of his top priorities, and that includes safer highways. We will only be satisfied when no life is lost on a Tennessee roadway.”

Funding provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and distributed through the Governor’s Highway’s Safety Office (GHSO) is allowing the Tennessee Highway Patrol to continue its commitment to provide increased enforcement and public awareness and reduce the loss of life and property on Tennessee roadways.

The Alcohol Saturation Patrols (A.S.P.) Enforcement program is aimed at removing impaired drivers from the road. Despite THP’s best efforts, preliminary figures for 2007 reveal that nearly 32 percent of all fatalities were alcohol-related.

The focus of the A.S.P. program will be during holiday periods and other times during the year when traffic volume is greater and the propensity of alcohol-related crashes increases dramatically. All 95 counties will participate in the initiative, and THP will increase its visibility through saturation patrols and by conducting sobriety checkpoints.

“The sad truth is too many people are killed each year because someone makes the decision to drink and drive,” stated THP Colonel Mike Walker. “In 2007, nearly 390 people died in Tennessee in alcohol-related crashes. There is no excuse for that, and State Troopers are dedicated to putting an end to impaired driving.”