THP using new technology on the roads, more DUI arrests this year
CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -
Drunk driving deaths in Chattanooga have gone down in the past year. Police say five people have been killed in alcohol-related accidents in 2014, which is down more than 60 percent from last year when 14 people died.
With fewer drinking and driving deaths this year police are looking at ways to keep dangerous drivers off the road. Tennessee Highway Patrol is using new technology that could help prevent a car crash before it happens.
"It makes you realize that what we're out here trying to do does make a difference," said Trooper Terry Parker, "Whether people want to believe that or not."
While DUI deaths have gone down, the number of DUI arrests have gone up, by a lot.
This year troopers made nearly 2,000 more arrests compared to last year. In 2013 THP made 5,914 DUI arrests, and so far this year there have been 7,765.
"If we can get them off the road before the crash happens than that's better for everybody," Tr. Parker said.
The THP is using new technology called C.R.A.S.H. Predictive Analytics to help them be aware of a possible crash before it happens.
"I believe we're the first state to use this," Tr. Parker said, "Because it's took two or three years to get it to this point."
Using statistics from past years, troopers are alerted to where a crash is more likely to occur at certain times of day.
"You can click on the block and it's going to tell you a percentage and the times when they predict a crash may happen."
The statistics help troopers choose where to patrol and where to set up monthly checkpoints, making sure drivers know they're ready to respond.
"Sometimes it's just us being in the area, our presence makes a difference," Tr. Parker said, "You're going to think twice about getting behind the wheel of a car if you've had too much."
People can expect several holiday check points and more patrols in the upcoming weekends. Troopers want to remind everyone if you are out celebrating the new year, have a designated driver, call a cab, but do not drink and drive.