June 29, 2006 - Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam
and Police Chief Sterling Owen today announced traffic enforcement
plans for the July 4th holiday weekend. The special enforcement effort
will begin at 4:00 p.m. on Friday, June 30, 2006 and conclude at Midnight
on Tuesday, July 4, 2006.
Chief Owen said that during the 104-hour holiday enforcement effort,
officers will focus on drivers who are speeding, driving recklessly,
or who are driving while impaired. Officers will also be citing motorists
who are not wearing their seat belts.
Owen said, "The top two causes of crashes in Knoxville are speeding
and following too closely. Our officers will work diligently to reduce
the speed of motorists and to cite those that are following too closely
or driving recklessly. By reducing the speed of motorists, we greatly
reduce the possibility of a crash occurring that could cause injuries
or even death."
The department will utilize Saturation Patrols and Directed Patrols
along the interstates and the major arterial routes throughout the
city. These patrols are designed to increase the safety of all motorists
by reducing the number of crashes that occur due to speeding and reckless
During the 2005 Fourth of July holiday enforcement effort, officers
issued 1,862 traffic related citations. Officers also investigated
120 traffic crashes. Twenty-eight of those crashes resulted in injuries.
The last fatality to be recorded during a July 4th holiday period
occurred in 2003.
Officers also arrested 24 individuals for DUI in the 2005 enforcement
campaign. The highest Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) registered a .25,
which is more than three times the legal limit.
Chief Owen said, "If your going to drink this holiday weekend,
then by all means have a designated driver. By doing so you could
not only save your life, but the life of an innocent victim."
Mayor Haslam said, "We urge all motorists to slow down, buckle
their seat belt, and please don't drink and drive."