Memorial Day weekend road deaths down, arrests up

2:33 PM, May 31, 2013   |    comments
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By Brian Haas | The Tennessean

Fewer people died, but more were led away in handcuffs Memorial Day weekend in Tennessee this year.

The Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security on Friday released its Memorial Day weekend statistics, showing that eight people died between 6 p.m. Friday May 24 and 11:59 p.m. Monday May 27. The prior year, 16 people died during that same 78-hour period.

At the same time, the Tennessee Highway Patrol made 116 DUI arrests this year compared to 94 the prior year. Troopers also gave out 1,384 seat belt citations compared to 1,067 in 2012.

The good news extends to the rest of the year as well. After an unusually high year for traffic deaths in 2012, 2013 is proving to be far less deadly. This year, 353 people have died on Tennessee roads compared to 412 this time last year.

In response to last year's high death toll, electronic signs have regularly broadcast the year-to-date roadway and motorcycle deaths as a reminder to drivers to drive with caution.

Contact Brian Haas at 615-726-8968 or bhaas@tennessean.com.

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