“Slow Down Tennessee” launches Friday

(THSO)  On Friday, October 15, the Tennessee Highway Safety Office (THSO) launches its speeding prevention campaign called “Slow Down Tennessee” in partnership with the Tennessee Department of Safety & Homeland Security, the Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP), the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT), AAA – The Auto Club Group, the Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD), and local law enforcement agencies. From October 15 – 29, participating agencies will increase public education and enforcement efforts to reduce speeding-related crashes, injuries, and fatalities statewide. 

“The initial launch of ‘Slow Down Tennessee’ in April made a tremendous impact on local communities,” said Director Buddy Lewis of the THSO. “During National Teen Driver Safety Week, October 17 – 23, the THSO and partners will emphasize teen safety while promoting the ‘Slow Down Tennessee’ campaign. This effort will include a stronger grassroots effort than before.” 

Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for teenagers in America. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were 2,042 traffic fatalities nationwide involving a teen driver (age 15 to 18 years old) in 2019. According to Tennessee’s Integrated Traffic Analysis Network, there were 100 traffic fatalities statewide involving a teen driver (age 13 to 19 years old) in 2019. For a county-by-county breakdown of Tennessee traffic crashes involving speeding teen drivers (age 13 to 19) from 2016 to 2021, visit   https://bit.ly/3aniOEa 

“Teen drivers tend to speed and engage in aggressive driving behaviors because they feel overly confident behind the wheel,” said Tennessee Regional Manager Gavin Gill of SADD. “Lack of experience puts them at a higher risk of making unsafe choices. SADD is joining the grassroots efforts of ‘Slow Down Tennessee’ to increase SADD chapters statewide, reach more young drivers, and help prepare them for the roadway.” 

The “Slow Down Tennessee” campaign includes a multi-pronged approach. The public is encouraged to participate by using #SlowDownTN on social media to help spread awareness. Participating law enforcement agencies statewide will increase saturation patrols, conduct high visibility enforcement, and/or utilize other tactics to curb speeding drivers. 

Outdoor signage will display “Slow Down Tennessee” as visual reminders for speeding drivers. This includes the use of large banners, TDOT’s digital message boards, and yard signs provided by AAA – The Auto Club Group. Visit www.AAA.com/locations to find AAA Offices providing “Slow Down Tennessee” yard signs in your area. Teens can request free customized “Slow Down (School Mascot)” signs for their schools by using this link: https://reducetncrashes.org/activities/slow-down-signs-your-school 

For more information, please visit www.tntrafficsafety.org/speeding.

About Jim Harris

Jim Harris has been WYSH's News & Sports Director since 2000. In addition to reporting local news, he is the play-by-play voice for Clinton High School football, boys' and girls' basketball and baseball. Catch Jim live weekdays beginning at 6:30 am for live local news, sports, weather and traffic plus the Community Bulletin Board, shenanigans with Ron Meredith and more on the Country Club Morning Show on WYSH & WQLA. Jim lives in Clinton with his wife Kelly and daughter Carolina, and cats Oliver, Bow and Libby.

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