Police, THP up holiday travel enforcement starting today - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Police, THP up holiday travel enforcement starting today

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

Don't be surprised to see more blue lights while driving. Police are cracking down on speeders in one of the biggest campaigns the city and county have ever seen.

Hamilton County has more traffic deaths from this time last year. In 2012, 38 people were killed on Hamilton County roads. As of today, 32 people have been killed in 2013, up seven from this time last year. Of those 32 deaths, 7 involved alcohol, 6 involved illegal drugs, and 5 involved speeding. Police say that fatality number is controllable and that's why they're out in full force.

Starting Tuesday, police, sheriff's deputies and highway patrol officers are picking up patrols on highways and in neighborhoods.

"If you lived and saw what we see everyday, you'd get a different perspective. Life is precious. You can be here and gone in a second," said THP Lt. John Harmon.

THP Lt. John Harmon said his department is planning its most aggressive enforcement in recent memory this holiday season. He hopes more manpower and more resources means less roadway deaths, especially compared to 2012's numbers.

"We're gonna continue the enforcement and make sure people see us and that they slow down. It's gonna be a year round thing," said Chattanooga Police Traffic Division Sgt. David Gibb.

Sgt. David Gibb organized the city-wide traffic saturations to nab speeders. When writing tickets, he said he doesn't have a quota.

"I prefer zero. Honestly I do. If we have all our guys out here and write no tickets, that means we've done our job," he said.

"Save that money for your kids and your family because they would much rather have a Christmas gift than see you in jail, in the funeral home or you have to pay the citation," said Clint Shrum of the Governor's Highway Safety Office.

Police began pulling over speeders Tuesday in a traffic saturation on Hwy. 153. Sgt. Gibb said he has four more saturations planned before the New Year.

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