KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — From October 15–29, Tennessee Highway Safety Office’s “Slow Down Tennessee” campaign will be in effect. During this time, participating agencies will increase public education and enforcement efforts to reduce speeding-related crashes, injuries, and fatalities statewide.
Participating law enforcement agencies, including the Oak Ridge and Crossville Police Departments, will increase saturation patrols, conduct high visibility enforcement, and utilize other tactics to curb speeding drivers. In addition, the “Slow Down Tennessee” campaign encourages the public to participate by using #SlowDownTN on social media to help spread awareness.
“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.”
In the United States, motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for teenagers. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were 2,042 traffic fatalities nationwide involving a driver between 15 to 18 years old in 2019. In Tennessee, there were 100 traffic fatalities involving a driver between 13 to 19 years old in 2019 according to Tennessee’s Integrated Traffic Analysis Network. For a county by county breakdown of crashes involving speeding drivers between 13 to 19 years old from 2016 to 2019, click here.
“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.”
Large banners, TDOT’s digital message boards, and yard signs will display “Slow Down Tennessee” as reminders for drivers. The yard signs are provided by AAA – The Auto Club Group and can be ordered here. In addition, teenagers can request free customized “Slow Down (School Mascot)” signs for their schools: reducetncrashes.org/slow-down-signs-your-school