Traffic patrol set for busy holiday among motorists
by GREG KAYLOR Banner Staff Writer
May 23, 2014 | 707 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print

Law enforcement agencies across Tennessee will be out in force to protect the driving public during the Memorial Day weekend beginning today.

The Tennessee Highway Patrol will be holding a variety of checkpoints in Bradley and surrounding counties, as well as across the state.

Cleveland Police Department officials announced the “Click-it or Ticket” campaign in the city formally got underway last week. Enhanced traffic safety will be evident as Bradley County Sheriff’s Office, Charleston Police Department, THP and CPD officers will be on the lookout for intoxicated drivers and those who fail to wear safety belts.

“With the onset of summer vacation season during the Memorial Day holiday, the Bradley County Sheriff’s Office reminds the public that an emphasis on traffic safety will continue,” said Bob Gault, media relations coordinator.

“Originally launched three years ago, the traffic safety campaign to raise awareness among motorists has focused attention on violations such as failure to buckle up, reckless driving, aggressive driving, speeding and driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Fatal crash investigations reveal one or more of these are frequent factors in crashes leading to serious injury and death,” he added.

For the BCSO, the increased enforcement will involve the patrol and traffic units.

“Deputies in the performance of regular patrol duties will be on the lookout for those operating a vehicle while impaired, or driving carelessly and creating a danger to other vehicles on the road,” Gault said. “Extra duty officers will be used at various times during the holiday period.”

“For us, traffic safety is an initiative 24 hours a day each day of the year,” added Chief Deputy W.G. Campbell.

Bradley County’s toll of lives lost this year currently stands at six.

That is on the heels of the previous two years, when the county recorded a near-record high in 2012, with 24 fatalities, and a near-record low in 2013, with eight traffic deaths.

Campbell added that the primary goal is to save lives.

Tennessee Department of Transportation officials announced road construction along Tennessee’s interstate system will not be hampering motorists over the long holiday weekend. They plan to suspend construction in areas requiring lane closure during the holiday travel period.

According to officials with THP, the holiday enforcement period begins at 6 this evening and ends at midnight Monday.

Ten people died on Tennessee roadways during the 2013 Memorial Day holiday period, according to data provided by THP.

“We are committed to reducing the number of traffic fatalities in our state, especially during the busiest travel months of the year,” according to Bill Gibbons, commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security. “Col. Tracy Trott, Commissioner John Schroer at the Tennessee Department of Transportation and our partners in the Governor’s Highway Safety Office are utilizing all of their resources to keep those traveling to and from Tennessee safe this Memorial Day period.”

Message boards across the state will be activated to keep motorists informed as they are traveling the interstate systems.

“Vehicle crashes can change lives in an instant,” Campbell said. “They can cause life-changing injury or death. The driver should remember that you are responsible for your life and the lives of the passengers in your car, as well as other motorists. Make wise choices by paying attention and driving responsibly.”

He added, “It takes less than five seconds to secure your seatbelt. Tragedy can occur in significantly less time. Our No. 1 goal is to save lives, and we are doing that through education and enforcement.”