December 21, 2012 -
Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero and Police Chief David Rausch announced traffic enforcement plans for the Christmas and New Year's holidays. The Christmas enforcement period will begin at 4:00 p.m. on Monday, December 24, 2012, and conclude at Midnight on Tuesday, December 25, 2012. The New Year's enforcement campaign will begin at 4:00 p.m. on Monday, December 31, 2012, and will conclude at Midnight on Tuesday, January 1, 2013.
The total number of people traveling this holiday season is expected to be up compared to last year. Due to how both holidays fall early in the week, there will be a significant increase in the number of motorists traveling throughout the Knoxville area from today through Sunday, January 6, 2013. The safety of all motorists will be the focus of the department's holiday traffic enforcement effort.
Throughout both holiday enforcement efforts officers will focus their attention on drivers who are speeding, following too closely, or who are driving recklessly. These three actions contribute to more crashes within Knoxville than any other causation factor.
Chief Rausch said, "By focusing on motorists who drive recklessly, we will reduce the number of crashes which will also result in fewer injury producing crashes. Simply put, more travelers will make it to their holiday destination unharmed."
During the 2011 Christmas holiday enforcement effort, officers issued 650 driving related citations. Twenty-five (25) motorists were arrested for DUI. Officers investigated 63 traffic crashes with 9 of those resulting in injuries. The last fatality to occur during a Christmas enforcement effort occurred in 2010.
During the 2011 -2012 New Year's holiday traffic campaign, 1,054 driving related citations were issued. Officers discovered 120 motorists driving on a suspended or revoked license or they had no license at all. Thirty-one (31) motorists were arrested for DUI. Officers also investigated 56 crashes with 10 of those resulting in injuries. One fatality occurred during this time period.
Chief Rausch said, "We urge all motorists to slow down, buckle their safety belt, and above all, do not drink and drive. These simple steps could mean the difference between life and death."