THP: Holiday weekend fatalities down - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

THP: Holiday weekend fatalities down

NASHVILLE (SUBMITTED) - Preliminary figures from the Tennessee Department of Safety show seven people were killed in traffic crashes on Tennessee roadways during the 78-hour Memorial Day holiday period.  This would be a drop from the 16 fatalities that occurred during the 2009 Memorial Day holiday weekend and 13 deaths in 2008.

During the 2010 Memorial Day holiday, which ran from 6:00 p.m., Friday, May 28 through midnight Monday, May 31, there were seven fatal crashes that resulted in seven fatalities.  Six of the people killed were vehicle occupants and three, or half of them, were not wearing safety restraints.  One pedestrian was also killed.

"We work hard throughout the year and especially during Memorial Day weekend to enforce the importance of safety belts," stated Tennessee Highway Patrol Colonel Mike Walker. "It is the single, most effective way to protect yourself in a crash. Unfortunately, three of the seven people killed over the weekend were not wearing their seat belt. Taking just a few seconds to buckle up might have saved a life."

The THP has teamed up with law enforcement officers from across the state and around the country for the high visibility national Click It or Ticket campaign, May 24 through June 6.   According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2008 alone, seat belts saved 13,250 lives nationwide.  When worn correctly, seat belts have been proven to reduce the risk of fatal injury to front-seat passenger car occupants by 45 percent, and by 60 percent in pickup trucks, SUVs and minivans.

THP also teamed up with the Alabama Department of Public Safety and the Mississippi Highway Patrol in a tri-state effort to "Take Back Our Highways," May 22 through 31.  Tennessee Troopers conducted targeted patrols of major corridors and high crash roadways traveled by motorists during the busy Memorial Day holiday period.

In 1973, 26 people were killed in traffic crashes in Tennessee during the 78-hour Memorial Day holiday period, the highest number of deaths on record.  The lowest deaths occurred in 2002 when five people were killed in traffic crashes during a 78-hour period. 

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