THP Urges Motorists to “Let Their Light Shine” for Holiday Weekend

With millions of Americans hitting the roads this holiday season, the Tennessee Highway Patrol will be kicking up its Thanksgiving Day enforcement through midnight Sunday. State Troopers, who will also be conducting a 12-hour “C.A.R.E. Across Tennessee” campaign and they have a message for motorists traveling through the state – “Let your little light shine.”To participate in the C.A.R.E. (Combined Accident Reduction Enforcement) safe driving campaign, drivers are encouraged to travel with their headlights on to indicate their commitment for safe driving, seat belt usage, and traffic law compliance. In addition, State Troopers will be assigned to every 10-mile stretch of road on both the eastbound and westbound lanes of travel on Interstate 40.
Although safety belt usage climbed to 87 percent in 2010, more than 56 percent of passenger vehicle occupants killed in Tennessee traffic crashes were not wearing a safety belt in 2009. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), on any given day about 38 passenger vehicle occupants who are not buckled up are killed in motor vehicle crashes. Research shows that it is almost nine times safer to wear your safety belt every time you get in the car.
“Our C.A.R.E. campaign and holiday enforcement is a chance for motorists to stand in solidarity with us by turning on their headlights to send a strong message that if you are not wearing a seatbelt, or driving aggressively or drunk, and displaying a total disregard for the law and human life, it will not be tolerated,” said THP Colonel Tracy Trott. “We want everyone traveling through Tennessee and beyond to get to their destination safely.”
NHTSA statistics show that those least likely to buckle up are teens; young adults; males; nighttime riders; motorists traveling on rural roads; and individuals traveling in pickup trucks. In 2009 alone, over 11,500 unbuckled passenger vehicle occupants lost their lives on U.S. roadways.
“The ultimate goal is to boost seat belt usage and save lives,” added Colonel Trott. “Don’t let this joyful holiday turn into a tragedy by failing to buckle up – Click it or Ticket.”
Regular seat belt use is the single most effective way to protect people and reduce fatalities in motor vehicle crashes, according to NHTSA.
A checkpoint in Cannon County is scheduled for Friday, November 26th. The site is on State Route 146 just South of the 7 mile marker.
TDOT Halts All Lane Closure Activity for Busy Holiday Travel Period
Thanksgiving travelers will enjoy a smooth drive through Tennessee again this year during the busy travel holiday. The Tennessee Department of Transportation is once again halting all lane closure activity on interstates and state highways in anticipation of higher traffic volumes across the state. All construction related lane closures will be stopped now until 6:00 a.m. Monday, November 29.
“Nearly a million people are expected to use Tennessee roadways to visit family and friends this holiday,” said TDOT Commissioner Gerald Nicely. “By removing the lane closures from Wednesday until Monday, those travelers will have maximum roadway capacity to help them reach their destinations safely and without delays.”
While all lane closure activity will be stopped, workers may be on site in some construction zones. Motorists are reminded to drive safely and obey the posted speeds, especially in work zones. Drivers convicted of speeding in work zones where workers are present face a fine of up to $500, plus court fees and possible increased insurance premiums.
For up-to-date travel information, motorists may call 5-1-1 or visit TDOT is also on Twitter. For statewide travel tweets follow @TN511. Motorists are reminded to use all motorist information tools responsibly and refrain from texting, tweeting or using a cell phone when behind the wheel.