TN roadway fatality numbers continue to climb

10:46 PM, Oct 5, 2012   |    comments
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The number of recorded deaths along Tennessee roadways continues to climb, while drivers track the increase on TDOT's "SmartWay" message boards.

"I think people were just stunned at how high those numbers can be," said TDOT Region 1 Spokesperson Mark Nagi, who says the signs are meant to promote awareness.

"To make sure people realize while they're driving, they need to be as concentrated on the road as they can be."

The number of recorded fatalities on Tennessee roads in 2012 reached 765 by Friday evening. Last year on this same date, the number was 728.

Law enforcement, like the Tennessee Highway Patrol, hoped to see improvement with efforts to crack down on impaired driving.

From January 1 through September 30, THP made 4,349 DUI arrests statewide. During the same time in 2011, THP made 3,487 DUI arrests.

Though the number of DUI arrests have increased nearly 25 percent, THP officials still face rising fatality numbers.

"Ultimately, we can do all we can but it's up to the motorists to follow these rules and these laws and try to help us," said Lt. Don Boshears.

"Hopefully next year we can get that number down."

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