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City of Knoxville, Tennessee
Madeline Rogero, Mayor

For Immediate Release
Police Prepare for Boomsday and Labor Day Holiday Traffic
August 31, 2007 - Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam and Police Chief Sterling Owen announced traffic enforcement plans for the Labor Day holiday weekend, which includes the annual Boomsday fireworks display. The traffic enforcement period will begin at 4:00 p.m. on Friday, August 31, 2007 and will conclude at Midnight on Monday, September 3, 2007.

Chief Owen said officers have been working on this weekend's traffic enforcement plans for several months. The department will utilize directed and saturation patrols to reduce the speed of motorists throughout the last official holiday of summer. Officers will also focus on drivers who are driving recklessly, motorists who are driving unrestrained, as well as motorists who are driving while impaired.

During the 2006 Labor Day traffic enforcement period, twenty-five motorists were arrested for DUI. Nine of those charged had been involved in a motor vehicle crash. Included in the DUI arrests where 1 - 18 year old, 1 - 19 year old, and 4 - 20 year old suspects. Four motorists arrested for DUI were caught driving on a license that had been revoked due to either two or three previous DUI arrests each.

Chief Owen said, "Speeding motorists, motorists who are following too closely, and motorists who are driving while impaired are responsible for most traffic crashes. By slowing down these motorists and removing those driving while impaired, you greatly reduce the likelihood of causing a serious injury or fatal car crash."

To help with the annual Boomsday celebration, several road closures will take place beginning Saturday afternoon. Westbound Neyland Drive from Walnut Street to Lake Loudon Boulevard and the Henley Street Bridge will be closed to motorists at 1:00 p.m. Saturday. All remaining lanes of Neyland Drive from Lake Loudon Boulevard to Walnut Street will close at 10:00 p.m. Saturday.

The James White Parkway (JWP) will still be closed for construction. Motorists wishing to park in the Knoxville Civic Coliseum parking garages will need to utilize Hall of Fame Drive to reach their destination.

Chief Owen said, "We urge motorists traveling throughout the city to reduce their speed, increase the following distance between their vehicle and the vehicle in front of them, and by all means, do not drive while under the influence. These simple steps could mean the difference between having a safe and enjoyable holiday weekend or a weekend spent in the hospital due to an injury causing crash."

For Immediate Release
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