(Times Free Press) -- With statewide traffic fatalities on the rise compared with the same time last year, Friday marked the first day of a five-day enforcement campaign by the Tennessee Highway Patrol leading up to New Year's Day.
"Every available trooper will work the next five days. You will see a Tennessee Highway Patrol trooper at some point or go through a checkpoint," said THP Lt. John Harmon, referring to the 11 checkpoints scheduled over the holiday in the Chattanooga district. "The goal is for everyone to celebrate the New Year safely."
As of Thursday, Tennessee had counted 1,000 traffic fatalities, compared with 937 in 2011. Of those deaths, 238 were alcohol related, according to the state Department of Safety and Homeland Security. There were five traffic fatalities in the state over the 2012 New Year holiday period, Harmon said.
Chattanooga also had more traffic deaths this year -- 22 as of Friday afternoon, compared with 19 in 2011.