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arrested for DUI were caught driving on a license that had been revoked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