Tennessee officials are again posting daily the number of traffic deaths on message boards across the state.
TDOT says as of Thursday, 800 people have died on Tennessee roadways this year. That's the same number of fatalities this same time last year.
Highway message boards will be updated each weekday with the current number of traffic deaths,.compared to the number of fatalities on the same date in 2012.
"It's my hope that seeing the fatality numbers on a daily basis will help drivers make better decisions that can save lives," TDOT Commissioner John Schroer said. "Whether it's putting your phone down, watching your speed, buckling your seat belt, or choosing not to drive impaired, every single motorist can do their part to prevent more tragedies on our roadways."
TDOSHS Commissioner Bill Gibbons said the Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP) will continue to focus on specific DUI and seatbelt enforcement efforts that will include special enforcement campaigns throughout the upcoming holiday travel season.
"While we made great progress in the first six months of 2013 compared to last year, the last three months have been very deadly on Tennessee roadways," Gibbons said. "I know that our stepped up efforts at DUI and seat belt enforcement have saved lives. We will continue to focus on those areas."
The THP has increased their DUI enforcement efforts this year. They've made 5,039 arrests for driving under the influence through October 16. That is a 10 percent increase over the number of DUI arrests made this time last year (4,578).
State troopers are also putting extra focus on getting people to wear their seatbelts, issuing 59,918 citations to people not wearing seatbelts so far in 2013. That's a big increase from the 39,392 citations issued in 2012. So far this year, there have been 289 unrestrained fatalities on Tennessee roadways, compared to 331 this time last year (a 12.7 percent decrease).