|May 26, 2010 -
Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam and Police Chief Sterling Owen announced traffic enforcement plans for the Memorial Day holiday weekend. Traffic enforcement efforts will begin at 4:00 p.m. on Friday, May 28, 2010, and conclude at Midnight on Monday, May 31, 2010.
Chief Owen said the department will utilize directed and saturation patrols to target problem areas. Interstates 640, 40, 75 and 275 as well as the major arterial routes throughout the city will see an increase in enforcement efforts. These patrols will enable officers to seek out drivers who are speeding, following too closely, driving recklessly, or who are driving while impaired.
Chief Owen said, “These driving behaviors contribute to the majority of crashes throughout the city. By reducing motorists’ speeds the number of crashes will also be reduced. That helps to prevent the needless loss of life.”
During the 2009 Memorial Day holiday weekend, officers issued 1,201 driving related citations during the 80 hour special enforcement period.
More than 110 motorists were discovered to be driving on a suspended or revoked license or they had no license at all. Officers also cited 61 motorists for safety belt violations. Eleven motorists were arrested for driving under the influence (DUI). Officers investigated 66 vehicle crashes with 11 of those resulting in injuries. The last fatality to be recorded during the holiday time period occurred in 2001.
Chief Owen said, “We want to make certain that motorists and their passengers are safe as we kickoff the official beginning of the summer driving season. To accomplish this goal, our officers will be out in force looking for motorists who decide to disobey traffic laws.”
“It is our hope that motorists will slow down, buckle up, and above all, don’t drink and drive,” Chief Owen concluded.