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Safety Campaign Aims To Reduce Traffic Deaths

Safety Campaign Aims To Reduce Traffic Deaths

CREATED Apr 3, 2014

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A new safety campaign aims to reduce traffic deaths by 15 percent in 2014.

On Thursday morning, Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security Commissioner Bill Gibbons and Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP) Colonel Tracy Trott joined police chiefs and sheriffs' association leaders and highway safety advocates to announce the "Drive to Zero Fatalities" campaign.

The national effort was initiated by the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP).

The data-driven effort will focus on several traffic safety enforcement goals, including seat belt usage, impaired and distracted driving and speeding. It will also include enforcement actions against unsafe driving behaviors of large truck and bus operators.

"Tennessee has recorded some of the lowest traffic fatality figures on record for the past three years. We attribute that accomplishment to the data driven deployment of our state troopers and the work of local law enforcement agencies across the state," Commissioner Gibbons said. "We hope this year-long traffic safety campaign will produce even better results in Tennessee and nationwide."

In 2011, there were 937 traffic-related deaths on Tennessee roadways, while 990 people were killed in vehicular crashes in 2013, representing the lowest and second lowest figures, respectively, since 1963. In 2012, 1,018 people died as a result of a traffic crash, the third lowest figure since 1963.

"The message that we want to convey with "Drive to Zero Fatalities" is that no traffic fatality should be acceptable in your circle of friends. This is a personal slogan that everyone can relate to," Colonel Trott said.

"Each one of us should have a vested interest in keeping our highways safe and preventing fatal crashes caused by impaired or distracted driving, failure to wear seat belts and speeding. The "Drive to Zero Fatalities" is our goal for 2014," he added.

Trott said traffic fatalities on Tennessee roadways have decreased by nearly eight percent, with 192 deaths from January 1 through March 31. That is 15 fewer than the same period in 2013.