Tennessee highway patrol uses grant programs to improve safety - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Tennessee highway patrol uses grant programs to improve safety

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Two grants are helping the Tennessee Highway Patrol with programs to provide increased enforcement, public awareness and reduce the loss of life and property on state roadways, The Sober Up TN and the BELTS programs.

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.   A study shows that the majority of impaired driving crashes occurred between the hours of 6 p.m. and 2 a.m., and a higher rate of alcohol-related wrecks occur on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Goals of the Sober Up TN Program 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.

The BELTS program will provide funding to allow state troopers to enhance the current seat belt usage rate. Statistical data revealed that unrestrained fatalities are most likely to occur on Fridays and Saturdays than any other day of the week. Statistics also show that unrestrained drivers are most often killed between the hours of 7 p.m. and 6 a.m.

Goals of the BELTS Program include:

  • Conducting seat belt checkpoints in each of the THP Districts (8) each month;
  • Each district will participate in the twelve statewide seat belt blitzes scheduled;
  • Reducing the number of unrestrained drivers in fatal and injury crashes by five percent;
  • Increasing the seat belt usage rate by 2.5 percent.

Both grant programs run through September 30, 2014.

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