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THP Announces 14% Decline in Traffic Fatalities for 2013

Press release from the Tennessee Department of Safety & Homeland Security; July 8, 2013:

NASHVILLE — Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP) Colonel Tracy Trott today announced the preliminary number of traffic fatalities on state roadways have decreased by nearly 14 percent (13.8%) for the first six months of 2013, compared to the same time period in 2012. The THP reported 436 people died in traffic crashes in Tennessee from January 1 through June 30, 2013. That is 70 fewer than the 506 vehicular fatalities that occurred during the same dates in 2012. Please note these figures include vehicular fatalities reported by all law enforcement agencies across the state.

Colonel Trott also noted a 10.7 percent decline in alcohol-related crashes investigated by the THP. State Troopers worked 975 impaired driving accidents from January 1 through June 30, 2013, a drop from the 1,092 crashes involving alcohol the previous year during the same time frame.

“DUI enforcement has become one of our agency’s top priorities in the last few years. We have arrested 3,151 individuals on suspicion of impaired driving during the first six months of this year – a 9.8 percent increase from the 2,870 DUI arrests made the first half of 2012,” Colonel Trott said. “Each time we remove a drunk driver from our roadways, we reduce the chance of a serious injury or fatal crash occurring,” he added.

“The efforts of the Tennessee Highway Patrol is evident in the data produced on the roadways,” Department of Safety and Homeland Security Bill Commissioner said. “We are encouraged by the reduction of crashes investigated, specifically injury and alcohol-related across the state. Our hope is to continue this trend and keep the motoring public safe in Tennessee.”

THP has also placed a greater emphasis on seat belt enforcement in 2013. As of June 30, 2013, State Troopers have issued 37,191 seat belt citations in Tennessee. That’s 14,000 more seat belt citations or a 62.3 percent increase than those issued during the first six months of 2012. Colonel Trott believes the seat belt enforcement has resulted in a 31.2 percent decline in the number of unrestrained fatalities across the state.

A summary of THP’s six month performance measures are listed below. Statistics for the recent Fourth of July holiday period will be released at a later date.

THP Statewide Six-Month Performance Measures

January 1 – June 30, 2013

Performance Measure                                                 2012            2013

All Crashes Investigated                                          12,381          12,013

Injury Crashes Investigated                                     4,841            4,370

Alcohol Impaired Crashes                                        1,092              975

Traffic Fatalities                                                             506              436

DUI Arrests                                                                     2,870            3,151

Total Citations                                                          179,259        196,716

Seat Belt Citations                                                      22,911           37,191

Commercial Motor Vehicle Inspections           41,286          44,462

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