‘Click it or Ticket’ Save Lives in Memorial Weekend Statistics Revealed

Safety Department Releases Preliminary Memorial Weekend Statistics


Nashville, Tennessee — The Tennessee Department of Safety announced Tuesday, June 3, 2008, that preliminary figures show 13 people were killed in traffic crashes in Tennessee during the 78-hour Memorial Day holiday period. That is down from the 21 fatalities during the Memorial Day holiday period in 2007 and 16 deaths in 2006.

Department of Safety Commissioner Dave Mitchell said, “While the numbers are still preliminary and could go higher due to delayed reporting from local law enforcement agencies, the Department of Safety is pleased to see the 2008 Memorial Day weekend fatalities will be significantly lower than 2007. We continue to believe rigorous enforcement through sobriety and driver license checkpoints across the state is making an impact on the reduction of fatalities and serious injury crashes in Tennessee.”

During the holiday weekend from 6 p.m. Friday, May 23 through midnight Monday May 26, The Tennessee Highway Patrol deployed Troopers to 85 checkpoints in 8 THP districts across the state in an effort to reduce fatalities and serious injury crashes in Tennessee. Preliminary statistics reveal five (38%) of the fatalities across the state occurred in alcohol-related crashes. Five motorcyclists and one pedestrian were killed.

Seven of the people killed were vehicle occupants and four (57%) were not wearing safety restraints.

THP Colonel Mike Walker said, “Nationally in 2006, 68% percent of the passenger vehicle occupants in fatal crashes who were buckled up survived the crash. Seat belt use is the single most effective way to protect you and reduce fatalities in motor vehicle crashes,” Walker added. “That’s why we stress “Click It or Ticket” to save lives.” Despite Tennessee’s Primary Seat Belt Usage law, Colonel Walker stressed, “Approximately 61% of vehicle occupants who died in Tennessee in 2007 were not restrained.”

During the 2008 Memorial Weekend enforcement period, Troopers issued 5,725 citations for the following violations:

DUI Arrests 59 Child Restraint 131

Speeding 2,062 Safety Belt 788

Other Moving Violations 265 Financial Responsibility  628

Other Non-Moving Violations 1,792

The 78-hour, 2007 Memorial Day holiday period began at 6:00 p.m., Friday May 23, and ended at 11:59, Monday, May 26.

The Tennessee Department of Safety’s mission is (www.tennessee.gov/safety) to ensure the safety and general welfare of the public. The department encompasses the Tennessee Highway Patrol, Office of Homeland Security and Driver License Services. General areas of responsibility include law enforcement, safety education, motorist services and terrorism prevention.