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Guv’s Highway Safety Office Launches New Website

Press release from the Tennessee Department of Transportation; October 1, 2012: 

NASHVILLE, TN– The Governor’s Highway Safety Office in partnership with the Tennessee Tech University College of Business, Business Media Center launched its new website today. The greatly enhanced website will be the communication hub for news and information relating to Tennessee highway safety.

“Our website will be the identity of the Governor’s Highway Safety Office,” Kendell Poole, Director said. “The site will be easily accessible to our law enforcement safety partners and the public, and offer an abundance of information and statistics on highway safety.”

The new website will increase awareness of the traffic safety initiatives and innovative programs that GHSO is providing across the state. It is also designed to engage the public on highway safety issues that affect every Tennessean.

Dr. Kevin Liska, Director of the Business Media Center at TTU, and his innovative team have been working on the creation of the website for several months. “We are excited about implementing systems that reach the thousands of Tennessee public safety stakeholders committed to the GHSO vision of helping all arrive safely at their destination, making Tennessee highways safer every day,” Liska said.

The website will be the catalyst for law enforcement training offered through GHSO. It will provide the interface for law enforcement agencies to report data on National Highway Traffic Safety Administration campaigns they are conducting in their communities. The website will serve as a resource for any individual to find a traffic safety expert in their area.

The website will also display GHSO grantees and the work they are doing across the state to implement positive change in their communities.

“We will continue to do our part to keep the people of this great state safe when traveling on our highways,” Poole said. “Our goal is to make sure you and your loved ones arrive safely at your destinations. We will make every effort to ensure driver safety.”

Please visit the new website at www.tntrafficsafety.org for your traffic safety needs.

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Tennessean Elected National Highway Safety Chairman

Press release from the Governor’s Highway Safety Association; August 29, 2012: 

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Kendell Poole, Director of the Tennessee Governor’s Highway Safety Office, has been elected the new Chairman of the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), the national nonprofit organization representing state and territorial highway safety offices across the country.

Poole’s priorities as Chairman will be to assist states with implementation of the highway safety programs authorized under the new federal highway bill and to continue the organization’s national leadership on key highway safety issues including drunk driving, occupant protection, distracted driving and speeding.

The recently enacted federal highway bill known as MAP-21 (Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century) provides states with needed resources to keep America’s roadways safe. Poole says, “The new law provides opportunities for states to qualify for additional federal funding by achieving certain performance goals or improved state laws. With so many new members in our association, I want to make sure that GHSA continues providing training and guidance to help every state highway safety office understand how to achieve their goals.”

The “Big 3” in highway safety continue to be drunk driving, occupant protection and speeding.

GHSA will remain a leader in these areas by promoting proven effective programs such as the national Click It or Ticket seat belt campaign and the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over drunk driving initiative. The GHSA will also focus on other key issues including distracted driving, teen driver behavior, and motorcycle safety.

Kendell Poole had been a member of the Association’s Executive Board since 2006, first as a regional representative and most recently as Chairman of the Member Services Committee. He was appointed to his position in Tennessee in 2006 by Governor Phil Bredesen and continues to serve in the administration of Governor Bill Haslam. During his tenure as Director, Tennessee has seen a 30% reduction in roadway fatalities. Poole attributes this accomplishment to award-winning, educational campaigns including Booze It and Lose It and Click It or Ticket.

For more information about the GHSA, please visit www.ghsa.org.

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TN Law Enforcement ‘Out in Force’ in April to Remind Drivers to Exercise Safety

Press release from  the Tennessee Department of Safety & Homeland Security; April 11, 2012:

Nashville, TN – In an effort to save lives, the Governor’s Highway Safety Office (GHSO) is again working across the state to crack down on traffic safety violations including impaired driving, seat belt use, distracted driving, and speeding, during its “More Cops. More Stops.” campaign this April.

Tennessee is one of two states teaming with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) on this important national demonstration project to test the effectiveness of a new combined high visibility enforcement campaign.

State and local law enforcement will be out in force to remind all drivers and passengers to never drink and drive, always buckle up, obey the speed limit, and eliminate all distractions inside their vehicles while driving.

“We are going to strongly enforce the most basic and important highway safety laws in Tennessee,” said Tennessee Department of Transportation Commissioner John Schroer. “Our goal is to reduce drunk driving, boost seat belt use, and crack down on speeding and distracted driving, particularly among young adult males.”

Research and fatal crash statistics show that young adult males, ages 18-34, are the most likely to practice high-risk behaviors while driving, such as drinking and driving and NOT wearing seat belts.

“We know that wearing seatbelts is the single most effective way to protect people in vehicle crashes, so we will be watching closely to make sure everyone is buckling up,” said Kendell Poole, Director of GHSO. “But we are also working to prevent crashes in the first place, so we’ll be looking for drivers in Tennessee who are engaging in risky behaviors on our roadways like drinking and driving, texting while driving or speeding.”

More than 1,000 passenger vehicle occupants were killed in Tennessee motor vehicle traffic crashes in 2010, 58 percent of whom were NOT wearing their seat belts at the time of the crash. Because nighttime passenger vehicle occupants are among those least likely to buckle up, and most likely to die in crashes when unrestrained, nighttime enforcement has become a growing priority.

Impaired driving, distracted driving and speeding claim too many lives each year. In fact, in 2010:

  • 27% of those killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes on Tennessee’s highways involved drivers or motorcycle operators with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or above at the time of the deadly crash
  • 22% of Tennessee’s highway fatalities were from speeding-related crashes
  • In 2010, data show 18-to 34-year-old motorists are particularly at risk. Of those in that age group who were killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes in Tennessee, 33% were involved in a speeding-related crash; 35% were involved in an alcohol impaired driving crash; and 62% of 18-to 34-year-old passenger vehicle occupants killed were NOT wearing their seat belts.

Nationally in 2010, distracted driving claimed nearly 3,100 lives and led to an estimated more than 419,000 injuries.

“We know that high visibility enforcement like the More Cops. More Stops. campaign works, and if we can save even one life or change one person’s behavior, we have been successful,” said Tennessee Highway Patrol, Colonel Tracy Trott . “So Tennesseans, please remember to never drive impaired, always buckle up, obey the speed limits, and pay attention to the road. We will be out in force, and there will be no warnings or excuses. If you are caught breaking the law, you will be stopped and ticketed or arrested.”