May 25, 2006 - Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam
and Police Chief Sterling Owen today announced traffic enforcement
plans for the Memorial Day holiday weekend. Special traffic enforcement
efforts will begin at 4:00 p.m. on Friday, May 26, 2006 and conclude
at Midnight on Monday, May 29, 2006.
Chief Owen said the Memorial Day holiday weekend is considered the
unofficial start of the summer vacation season. An estimated 37
million people will travel over the extended holiday weekend with
80% of those travelers driving to their destination.
reduce the number of injury causing crashes, officers will be conducting
Saturation and Directed Patrols throughout the eighty-hour holiday
enforcement period. Officers will focus on drivers who are speeding,
driving recklessly and motorists who are driving while impaired. Officers
will also be focusing on drivers and passengers who are either unrestrained
or improperly restrained.
Members of the East District Patrol Division will be conducting
a sobriety checkpoint Saturday night from 11:00 p.m. until 4:00
a.m. Sunday morning. The checkpoint, which will be held on Chapman
Highway near Young High Pike, will allow officers an opportunity
to educate citizens on the dangers of drunk and drugged driving.
Chief Owen said, "We urge motorists to exercise patience wherever
they may travel during this extended holiday weekend. If motorists
would slow down and properly use their seatbelts, crashes resulting
in serious injuries or even death could be prevented."
During the 2005 Memorial Day holiday enforcement campaign, officers
issued 1267 citations. Officers also investigated 76 crashes with
18 of those resulting in injuries. The last fatality to be recorded
during the Memorial Day holiday occurred in 2001.
Mayor Haslam said, "We want the holiday weekend to be safe
for all residents and visitors traveling throughout our city. We
urge everyone to slow down, buckle your seatbelt and above all,
don't drink and drive."