|Holiday Traffic Enforcement Plans Announced; DUI Awareness Campaign Launched
|July 2, 2008 -
Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam and Police Chief Sterling Owen today announced traffic enforcement plans for the Fourth of July holiday weekend. The specialized enforcement campaign will begin at 4:00 p.m. on Thursday, July 3, 2008, and conclude at Midnight on Sunday, July 6, 2008.
Chief Owen said the Fourth of July holiday is typically the busiest travel weekend during vacation season. The heaviest concentration of traffic can be expected on Thursday evening and during the afternoon and evening hours on Sunday.
Chief Owen said, “Even though it is predicted that the number of travelers may be somewhat reduced this year due to higher gas prices, we will still see a significant increase in the number of motorists traveling through Knoxville.”
During the specialized enforcement campaign, officers will focus on drivers who are speeding, driving recklessly, driving while unrestrained, or who are driving while impaired.
Chief Owen said, “The department is committed in its efforts to reduce the number of crashes caused by motorists driving while under the influence. To aid in those efforts, we are launching a new public awareness campaign to remind motorists not to drive while impaired.”
Fifteen signs have been posted throughout Knoxville with the message ‘Be Aware, Don’t Drive Impaired’. The signs were designed to catch the driver’s eye while sending a strong message. This campaign was developed by Knoxville Police Department Sergeant Savannah Ayub with assistance from Fred Corum of TDOT and Mark Geldmier with the City of Knoxville Traffic Engineering Department.
During 2005, officers charged 818 motorists with DUI. That number increased to 1,443 in 2006 and to 1,681 in 2007. Last year, officers determined that 1,075 motorists involved in crashes had been drinking.
Chief Owen said, “Simply put, we will not tolerate motorists’ who are driving while impaired. If you are driving under the influence, you will go to jail.”
During the 2007 Fourth of July holiday enforcement campaign, officers arrested 7 motorists for Driving Under the Influence (DUI). Officers also issued 557 driving related citations including 27 motorists who were driving while unrestrained and 38 motorists caught driving on a suspended or revoked license or who had no license at all.
Officers also investigated 31 vehicle crashes of which 8 resulted in injuries. The last fatality to be recorded during the Fourth of July holiday occurred in 2003.
Locations of DUI Signs:
Kingston Pike E of Hayfield N-side E-bound
Kingston Pike at Copper Celler S-side E-bound
Kingston Pike W of Downtown West S-side E-bound
Clinton Hwy. N of Inskip Dr. E-side N-bound
Broadway S of I-640 E-side N-bound
Clinton Hwy. S of Inskip Dr. E-side N-bound
Central St. S of Depot Ave. W-side S-bound
Kingston Pike W of Metron Center Way S-side E-bound
Cumberland Ave. W of Sixteenth St. N-side W-bound
Blackstock E of Dale Ave. S-side E bound
Chapman Hwy. S of Woodlawn Pike W-side S- bound
Chapman Hwy. N of Moody Ave. E-side N-bound
Merchant Dr. E of 275 N-corner W-bound
Parkside Dr. W of Lovell Rd. N-corner W
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