Tennessee Highway Patrol Receives 2018 Traffic Safety Grants

Wednesday, December 20, 2017 | 11:33am

NASHVILLE - The Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP) received traffic safety grant funding from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to provide increased enforcement and public awareness campaigns in an effort to reduce serious injury and fatal crashes on state roadways in 2018. The grant funds will be distributed through the Tennessee Highway Safety Office (THSO).

The THP continues to target seat belt usage across the state. The “BELTS” program will provide funding to allow state troopers to enhance the current seat belt usage rate of 88.5%. Statistical data indicates that unrestrained fatalities are most likely to occur on Fridays and Saturdays.

Goals of the “BELTS” program include:

  • Conduct monthly seat belt checkpoints in each of the eight THP Districts;
  • Each district will participate in the 12 statewide seat belt blitzes scheduled;
  • Reducing the number of unrestrained drivers in fatal and injury crashes by 5%;
  • Increasing the seat belt usage rate by 2.5%.

The THP received $100,000.00 in grant funding for the “BELTS” program.

The THP has a new distracted driving campaign entitled “Just Drive.” With the addition of new communications technologies, drivers are paying less attention when driving. Distracted driving encompasses more than texting while driving. Distracted driving is any activity that could divert a person's attention away from the primary task of driving.

Goals of the “Just Drive” program include:

  • Reducing injury crashes where distracted driving was indicated as a contributing factor;
  • Reducing fatal crashes where distracted driving was indicated as a contributing factor;
  • Reducing the total number of crashes where distracted driving and other hazardous moving violations were noted as a contributing factor.

“Just Drive” grant funds that were provided to the agency amounted to $100,000.00.

The “Sober Up TN” program allows the THP to allocate additional hours for state troopers to patrol the interstates, conduct sobriety checkpoints, perform bar checks, and educate the public on the dangers of drinking and driving.

State Troopers have utilized a data-driven approach to address alcohol-related crashes by targeting times and locations where these types of incidents are most prevalent. Predictive analytics has allowed the THP to target impaired driving crashes; the majority which occur between the hours of 4:00 PM and 4:00 AM. A higher rate of alcohol-related wrecks is shown to occur on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

The “Sober Up TN” program goals include:

  • Increasing the number of sobriety checkpoints;
  • Enforcing DUI and alcohol-related offenses;
  • Reducing fatalities where alcohol was indicated as a contributing factor;
  • Facilitating community meetings to solicit citizen attendance and input and involve local agencies, District Attorney Generals, school and court officials and associated stakeholders.

“Sober Up TN” grant funds that were provided to the agency amounted to $600,000.00. The grant programs run through September 30, 2018.

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