Law enforcement across Tennessee will be out in force from July 25 to July 28 for the final phase of the “More Cops. More Stops.” campaign to crack down on drivers who are speeding, drunk, distracted or not wearing a seat belt, the Governor’s Highway Safety Office announced.

“We are putting more officers on the road to make clear there will be no tolerance for those who ignore basic safety laws on our highways,” said Richard Holt, the agency’s law enforcement administrator. “Drivers need to know the risk is simply not worth it. You will be stopped, ticketed or arrested if we catch you driving while drunk or distracted, not wearing a seat belt or speeding.”

In 2011, more than 700 passenger vehicle occupants died in Tennessee traffic crashes. A total of 27% of the fatalities involved a drunk driver, and 23% were speeding-related crashes. Fifty-seven percent of those who died were not wearing their seat belts at the time of the crash.

Nighttime is especially deadly because that’s when more people fail to do the single most effective thing to save their life in a crash — wear a seat belt.  In the U.S. in 2011, 62% of passenger vehicle occupants who were killed in nighttime (6 p.m. to 5:59 a.m.) traffic crashes were not wearing seat belts at the time of the crash, compared to 43% of unbelted people who were killed in daytime crashes.

“Highway safety laws are in place for very good reasons, and ignoring or breaking them all too often leads to deadly consequences,” said Kendell Poole, director of the Governor’s Highway Safety Office. “Our high visibility enforcement during the “More Cops. More Stops.” campaign will hopefully help remind people to never drive drunk, always buckle up, to slow down, and to always pay attention to the road.” 

Tennessee law enforcement has teamed with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to test the effectiveness of a combined highway safety law enforcement campaign. “More Cops. More Stops” focuses enforcement on multiple traffic safety laws.