Law enforcement begins summer road safety push

Published 8:32 am Friday, May 23, 2014

As Memorial Day weekend ushers in the summer travel season, local law enforcement officers are asking drivers to make every ride a safe ride.
Thursday celebrated the official kickoff of the Governor’s Highway Safety Office’s Summer Enforcement Campaign in East Tennessee. As part of this program, the office partners with local law enforcement officers across the state to help increase driver safety.
“All of it is to save lives,” said Carter County Sheriff’s Department Deputy Michael Carlock, the department’s liaison with the GHSO. “We are trying to increase seat belt awareness to keep drivers and passengers safe.”
The summer enforcement campaign works alongside the “Click It or Ticket” and “Booze It and Loose It” campaigns to help educate drivers about safety laws.
As part of the summer campaign, Carlock said, there will be driver’s license and seat belt check points held across the state, including several scheduled to be held in the Tri-Cities.
Carlock said in addition to events across the state, some agencies are partnering with officers from neighboring states in an effort that is being called “Hands Across the Border.” These partnerships are formed in communities along the state borders where officers from different agencies work together to operate safety check points.
He said that one such event will be held this summer on U.S. Highway 19E in Roan Mountain near the border between Tennessee and North Carolina.
According to information released by the GHSO, the primary focus of the summer enforcement campaign will be the proper use of seat belts and child safety seats.
This is the 11th year that the summer enforcement campaign has been held in Tennessee. The Carter County Sheriff’s Department has been a longtime partner with the enforcement initiative.
Carlock said that the goal for the campaign is to decrease traffic accidents and fatalities on the roadways by educating drivers on the importance of seat belts, not driving while under the influence and minimizing distractions in the vehicle.
“We want to keep Carter County safe,” he said.

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