|May 21, 2009 - Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam and Police Chief Sterling Owen announced traffic enforcement plans for the Memorial Day holiday weekend. The specialized enforcement effort will begin at 4:00 p.m. on Friday, May 22, 2009, and will conclude at Midnight on Monday, May 25, 2009.
Chief Owen said officers will utilize Directed Patrols and Saturation Patrols throughout the holiday weekend to reduce the speed of motorists. The department will continue to aggressively enforce the speed limit on I-75, I-275, I-40 and I-640.
Chief Owen said, “These efforts are designed to reduce the speed of motorists, remove impaired drivers from our roadways, and to help reduce the number of vehicle crashes that can result in serious injuries or death.”
During the 2008 Memorial Day enforcement campaign, officers issued 744 driving related citations. Officers also investigated 67 vehicle crashes. Nine of the crashes resulted in injuries. The last fatality to occur during a Memorial Day holiday weekend occurred in 2001.
The 2008 Memorial Day holiday weekend was the first holiday weekend that I-40 was closed through Knoxville as a result of the SmartFix 40 project. The 2009 Memorial Day holiday weekend will be the last holiday weekend to be effected by the closure.
Mayor Haslam said, “The police department will do their part to slow down motorists during the holiday traffic campaign. We would ask that motorists do their part by slowing down and exercising patience while traveling throughout the city.”
Chief Owen said, “Officers will be citing people for speeding and arresting those who drive recklessly or who drive while impaired. We want to make the roads as safe as possible for both residents and visitors traveling through our area. We encourage motorists to drive defensively and to be courteous to others while sharing the road.”