Fatality Count To Be Displayed Daily On Interstate Message Boar - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Fatality Count To Be Displayed Daily On Interstate Message Boards

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – In hopes of curbing the number of traffic deaths in Tennessee, transportation officials said they will begin daily displays of the fatality count on Interstate message boards across the state.

As of Thursday, 800 people have died on Tennessee roadways this year—the same number of fatalities as last year at this time, according to the Tennessee Department of Transportation.

"It's my hope that seeing the fatality numbers on a daily basis will help drivers make better decisions that can save lives," TDOT Commissioner John Schroer said Tuesday at a news conference. "Whether it's putting your phone down, watching your speed, buckling your seat belt, or choosing not to drive impaired, every single motorist can do their part to prevent more tragedies on our roadways."

TDOSHS Commissioner Bill Gibbons said the Tennessee Highway Patrol will continue to focus on specific DUI and seatbelt enforcement efforts that will include special enforcement campaigns throughout the upcoming holiday travel season.

"While we made great progress in the first six months of 2013 compared to last year, the last three months have been very deadly on Tennessee roadways," Gibbons said. "I know that our stepped up efforts at DUI and seat belt enforcement have saved lives. We will continue to focus on those areas."

Preliminary data from the THP showed decreases in the statewide number of alcohol-related crashes and the number of people killed in alcohol-related crashes to date in 2013, compared to this time last year. Through Wednesday, 172 individuals have died in alcohol-related crashes through October 16, compared to 252 at this time in 2012 (a drop of 31.7 percent).

The THP also said they have made 5,039 arrests for driving under the influence through October 16, marking a 10 percent increase over last year.

Last year, the Tennessee Department of Transportation began running a daily roadway fatality count on digital Interstate message signs after an increase in crash deaths. This year, they have only been running the counts on Friday with other messages about safe driving throughout the week.

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