THP stresses safety over July 4 holiday period - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

THP stresses safety over July 4 holiday period

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NASHVILLE, TN (AP) - The Tennessee Highway Patrol is taking steps to ensure motorists drive safely during this Fourth of July holiday period.

The agency will conduct a high-visibility enforcement campaign beginning at 12:01 a.m. Thursday and ending at midnight Sunday.

State troopers will utilize a variety of traffic safety tools, such as driver's license, sobriety and seat belt checkpoints.

“Our ultimate goal is for no one to lose their life this weekend,” said Lt. John Harmon. “We’ll have a lot of troopers in one area at one time and then move them over to another area to be seen a lot.”

The THP helped set up the annual “Safety Break” off a Monteagle truck stop. The agency teamed up with local trucking companies and the American Trucking Association to educate drivers Thursday. Anyone getting off the truck stop could get a tour of a truck, learn safe ways to share the road and try a pair of “drunk goggles” and try walking a straight line.

“If you leave a good following distance, you have options,” said Stephanie Klang of the ATC. “You have options to stop. That’s what we’re trying to do is spread the word of safety today.”

Perry Wilson with McKee Foods Transportation was also on hand. He has almost 400 trucks on the roadways and said the annual event is a chance to partner up with other trucking agencies to help prevent roadway deaths this holiday.

During the 2013 Independence Day period, 19 people died on Tennessee roadways with one death in Hamilton County and another in McMinn County. During the 2012 Fourth of July period, 21 people were killed.

 “The Tennessee Highway Patrol’s goal is to drive to zero fatalities,” Lt. Harmon said. “Everyone’s goal needs to be to drive to zero fatalities.”

Of the 19 traffic fatalities last year, five were alcohol-related and 13 were not wearing safety restraints, including one child passenger.

One all-terrain vehicle rider also died during the holiday period.

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