22, 2006 - Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam and Police Chief Sterling
Owen today announced traffic enforcement plans for the Thanksgiving
holiday weekend. The special enforcement effort will begin at 4:00
p.m. on Wednesday, November 22, 2006 and conclude at Midnight on Sunday,
November 26, 2006.
Chief Owen said officers will focus on drivers who are speeding, driving recklessly or who may be driving while impaired. Officers will also be strongly enforcing the seat belt and child restraint laws.
"The goal for the department is to prevent crashes," said Chief Owen. "You reduce the likelihood of a crash occurring when you reduce the speed of motorists and remove intoxicated drivers from the road," Chief Owen said.
Throughout the extended weekend, officers will utilize Directed and Saturation patrols along the interstates and major arterial routes throughout the city. SMART units will also be utilized citywide to remind motorists to slow down.
During the 2005 Thanksgiving enforcement effort, officers issued 1,105 driving related citations. Officers also investigated 107 traffic crashes. Twenty-four of these crashes resulted in injuries including a single fatality crash.
Chief Owen said, "The Thanksgiving holiday is typically the busiest holiday of the year for travel. Citizens can increase their safety and help others to remain safe by slowing down, using their seat belt, and by not driving while drinking."
Mayor Haslam said, "We would urge all motorists to buckle up and drive responsively as we kickoff the start of another exciting holiday season."