Knoxville Police Prepared For Holiday Traffic
July 1, 2004 - Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam
and Deputy Chief Gus Paidousis today announced July 4th Holiday enforcement
plans. The holiday enforcement period will begin at 4:00 p.m. on Friday,
July 2, 2004 and conclude at Midnight, Monday July 5, 2004.
Deputy Chief Paidousis said officers throughout each district will
be looking for motorists who are speeding, driving recklessly or who
are driving while impaired. Officers will also be on the lookout for
motorists violating child restraint laws.
"New child restraint laws go into force today," said Chief
Paidousis. "These laws are designed to increase the safety of
children who are some of the most vulnerable to injury in a vehicle
collision," Deputy Chief Paidousis said.
The new law requires the use of booster seats for children who fail
to meet certain size and weight requirements.
In addition to new child restraint laws, Governor Bredesen has signed
a bill making a violation of the seatbelt law a primary offense for
motorists in Tennessee.
The new primary seatbelt law will allow officers to stop motorists
who are driving without their seatbelt properly fastened. Studies
have proven that when states upgrade their seatbelt laws from a secondary
offense to a primary offense, a significant increase in seatbelt use
In New Jersey, the rate of seatbelt use rose from 63 percent in 1999
to 74 percent in 2000. In Alabama, seatbelt use rose from 58 percent
in 1999 to 71 percent in 2000. Seatbelt use in Michigan rose from
70 percent in 1999 to 84 percent in 2000.
Deputy Chief Paidousis said, "From 1999 through 2003, 168 people
have died on Knoxville roadways. Sixty-five percent of those were
riding unrestrained. Through the use of Directed Patrols, Saturation
Patrols, and increased enforcement throughout construction zones,
we hope to reduce the number of injury related crashes."
Mayor Haslam said, "We urge motorists to exercise patience wherever
they may travel during this extended holiday weekend. By slowing down
and properly using seatbelts, crashes resulting in serious injuries
or even death could be prevented."
During the 2003 holiday enforcement campaign, 1,389 citations were
issued to motorists. Officers also investigated 59 collisions with
9 of them resulting in injuries. One fatality, the first July 4th
holiday fatality to occur since 1999, was recorded in 2003.
"We want the extended holiday weekend to be safe for all residents
and visitors traveling to and through our city. We urge everyone to
buckle up, slow down and above all, don't drink and drive," Deputy
Chief Paidousis concluded.