SAFE campaign begins today

Special to the Banner

Posted 2/1/18

The Bradley County Sheriff’s Office is partnering with the Tennessee Highway Safety Officefor its fifth annual Seatbelts Are For Everyone campaign. This statewide  SAFE initiative is designed to increase seatbelt usage and child passenger safety restraint usage through the implementation of occupant-protection programs, public events, and checkpoints throughout local communities across Tennessee. The SAFE campaign begins today and concludes on Aug. 1.

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SAFE campaign begins today

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The Bradley County Sheriff’s Office is partnering with the Tennessee Highway Safety Office for its fifth annual Seatbelts Are For Everyone campaign.

This statewide  SAFE initiative is designed to increase seatbelt usage and child passenger safety restraint usage through the implementation of occupant-protection programs, public events, and checkpoints throughout local communities across Tennessee. The SAFE campaign begins today and concludes on Aug. 1.

“The Sheriff’s Office will participate in this statewide campaign to ensure driver and occupant safety through seatbelt usage – especially children,” said Sheriff Eric Watson. “Our agency has been able to determine that children are much more likely to be buckled up if the driver is wearing a seatbelt. It’s vitally important for adults to model good driver behavior for children by consistent efforts to buckle up prior to commute.”

According to Watson, statistics have proventhe chances of becoming seriously injured or killed lessen by more than 70 percent just by utilizing a seatbelt.

“The Public Safety Unit with assistance from patrol deputies will be extra vigilant with their enforcement efforts of making sure everybody inside a commuting vehicle wears a seatbelt in order to save lives,” Watson said.

2018 will be the fifth year  the THSO has sponsored the SAFE campaign. Last year yielded the following results:

• 1,480 child restraint violations

• 16,571 seatbelt citations

• 835 other seatbelt enforcement activities

“In 2016, Tennessee’s average seatbelt usage rate was 88.95 percent,” said THSO Director Vic Donoho. “Last year, the state’s usage rate decreased to 88.51 percent. Our goal this year is to achieve 100 percent seatbelt usage across Tennessee through the SAFE campaign and other occupant-protection initiatives.” 

In Tennessee, a disproportionate percentage of unrestrained fatalities tend to occur between the evening and overnight hours of 6 p.m. to 5:59 a.m. Historically, approximately 50 percent of Tennessee’s traffic fatalities are unbelted. That percentage increases to nearly 60 when nighttime crashes are examined. Therefore, participating agencies will focus special attention toward nighttime seatbelt enforcement during the SAFE campaign this year. 

For more information about the THSO, visit www.tntrafficsafety.org.


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