November 24, 2009 -
Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam and Police Chief Sterling Owen announced traffic enforcement plans for the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. The special enforcement effort will begin at 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday, November 25, 2009, and conclude at Midnight on Sunday, November 29, 2009.
Chief Owen said officers will focus on motorists who are speeding, following too closely, or who are driving recklessly. Motorists who decide to drive under the influence will be arrested and will go to jail.
Chief Owens said, “Our officers have aggressively worked to reduce the number of vehicle crashes this year by focusing their efforts on speeding motorists. These efforts have been successful resulting in a 5% reduction in the number of injury crashes this year compared to the number of crashes in 2008.”
During the 2008 Thanksgiving traffic enforcement effort, officers issued 1,052 traffic related citations. Officers also discovered 134 motorists who were driving on a suspended or revoked license or who had no license at all. Eleven motorists were arrested for DUI.
Officers also investigated 134 vehicle crashes in 2008. The last fatality to occur during a Thanksgiving traffic enforcement effort occurred in 2006.
In addition to saturation patrols that will be in place along the interstate system, officers will utilize directed patrols along the major arterial routes throughout the city. These routes will see a significant increase in traffic on Friday as the Christmas shopping season officially begins.
Chief Owen said, “We urge all motorists to exercise extreme caution near major shopping developments. Be patient and watch out for pedestrians in shopping center parking lots.”
“By slowing down and paying close attention to your surroundings, the chances of being involved in an incident are greatly reduced,” Chief Owen concluded.