NASHVILLE, Tenn.- In the last 24 hours six people have been killed on Tennessee roads, the latest in a large spike in traffic fatalities. Officials with the Tennessee Department of Transportation have launched a new program to combat the increasing numbers of traffic deaths.
This week the Tennessee Department of Transportation has started showing the number of deaths on our state roads on flashing interstate signs, hoping to remind drivers to be cautious on the roadways.
The scene of police cars surrounding a fatal accident is becoming too common here in Tennessee. More than 300 fatalities have been reported in less than six months, the latest Thursday afternoon on Briley Parkway near Centennial Boulevard where a motorcyclist ran off the road.
Police said that in that crash witness reported seeing the driver going at an excessive rate of speed and popping wheelies.
"The gentleman on the motorcycle failed to negotiate the curve, ran off the side of the roadway and struck a chain link fence off the side of the roadway and he was pronounced dead at the scene," said Don Aaron with the Metro Nashville Police Department.
Metro Police Crash Investigator Don Davidson said many of the motorcycle accidents happen when some runs them off the road or cuts the driver off with a vehicle.
"On the other end of the spectrum we have people who are riding like this; irresponsibly and recklessly, that are popping wheelies, cutting in and out of traffic and they basically cause themselves to be killed," said Davidson.
Since Sunday there have been 5 motorcycle accidents and three have been fatal. There have also been a number of vehicle fatalities in the mid-state seven fatalities in the past four days.
This time last year there were 280 traffic fatalities in Tennessee, right now the stats stands at 313.