NASHVILLE-–The Tennessee Highway Patrol announced today that it will receive traffic safety grants from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to provide increased enforcement, public awareness campaigns and help reduce serious injury and fatal crashes on state roadways in 2015. The grant funds were distributed through the Governor’s Highway’s Safety Office (GHSO).
The THP continues to target seat belt usage across the state. The BELTS program will provide funding to allow state troopers to enhance the current seat belt usage rate of 87.7 percent. Statistical data revealed that unrestrained fatalities are most likely to occur on Fridays and Saturdays than any other day of the week.
Goals of the BELTS Program include:
- Conducting seat belt checkpoints in each of the eight THP Districts each month;
- Each district will participate in the 12 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.
THP received $130,068.48 in grant monies for the BELTS program.
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.
State Troopers have utilized a data-driven approach to address alcohol-related crashes by targeting times and locations where these types of incidents are most prevalent. Predictive analytics has revealed that the majority of impaired driving crashes occurred between the hours of 6 p.m. and 4 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.
Sober Up TN grant funds provided to the agency amounted to $716,919.36.
Both grant programs run through September 30, 2015.