On Friday, the Tennessee Highway Safety Office launches its speeding prevention campaign called “Slow Down Tennessee.”
The effort is in partnership with the Tennessee Department of Safety & Homeland Security, the Tennessee Highway Patrol, the Tennessee Department of Transportation, AAA – The Auto Club Group, Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD), and local law enforcement agencies.
From Oct. 15-29, participating agencies are working to 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 Tennessee Highway Safety Office.
“During National Teen Driver Safety Week, Oct. 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,” he said.
Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for teenagers in the United States.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 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, or TITAN, there were 100 traffic fatalities statewide involving a teen driver (age 13 to 19 years old) in 2019.
In Hardin County for 2016-2021 there have been 24 crashes involving teen drivers, including one fatality. McNairy County recorded 35 teen driver crashes, while Wayne County had 23 teen crashes, including one fatality, a TITAN report shows.
“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.”
THSO said participating law enforcement agencies statewide will increase saturation patrols, conduct high visibility enforcement, and use other tactics to deter speeding.