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Tennessee Highway Patrol Urges Motorists to Act Responsibly this Cinco de Mayo

Thursday, May 02, 2013 | 10:41am

NASHVILLE –- The Tennessee Highway Patrol will increase its highway traffic safety enforcement efforts this weekend to coincide with Cinco de Mayo celebrations. State Troopers will focus heavily saturation efforts, seat belt safety, and DUI enforcement.

One person was killed on Tennessee roadways on May 1, 2012. 

“When the temperatures begin to increase this time of year, more motorists start taking to the roadways. The Tennessee Highway Patrol will aggressively enforce our state’s seat belt and impaired driving laws to protect the public this Cinco de Mayo weekend and as we head into the summer months,” Department of Safety and Homeland Security Commissioner Bill Gibbons said.

As of May 2, 257 people had died on Tennessee roadways in 2013. That is a nearly 20 percent decrease from this time last year, when 321 fatalities had been reported. Of the fatalities this year, 97 of the victims were not properly restrained, compared to 144 in 2012.

“We have been using a data driven approach to both DUI and seat belt enforcement and the results show. Assigning state troopers to places and times when DUI and seatbelt violators are more likely to drive has been an effective strategy,” THP Colonel Tracy Trott said.  “We will increase our efforts even more on holidays and during the upcoming summer months to help increase public safety.”     

Some important reminders for those celebrating Cinco de Mayo and any holiday or special occasion include:

  • Plan Ahead. If you plan to drink, arrange a safe way home before the festivities begin.
  • Before drinking, designate a sober driver and give that person your keys.
  • If you’re impaired, call a taxi, use public transportation, or call a sober friend or family member to get you home safely.
  • Use the local Sober Ride program.
  • If you see a drunk driver on the road, promptly contact your local law enforcement agency (Dial *THP)
  • Remember, Friends Don’t Let Friends Drive Drunk. If you or someone you know is about to ride with one that is impaired, take their keys and help them make other arrangements to get to their destination safely.

As part of the Cinco de Mayo public safety awareness and enforcement campaign, the THP has scheduled saturations and sobriety checkpoints in high volume and high crash corridors across the state to look for aggressive and impaired drivers as well as safety belt violators. State Troopers will also conduct seat belt saturations, line patrols and bar checks this weekend.

The scheduled checkpoints accompany this release.

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