The Tennessee Highway Safety Office is launching a new state-wide speeding prevention campaign on Friday called "Slow Down Tennessee."
According to a THSO news release, drivers will see a step up in speeding enforcement by the Tennessee Highway Patrol and local law enforcement agencies in an effort to reduce speeding-related crashes, injuries and fatalities.
“Slow Down Tennessee’ is the collaboration of various public safety partners with a shared mission to improve driver behavior and save lives,” THSO Director Buddy Lewis said in the news release. “We have all noticed the spike in reckless driving occurring since the pandemic. All we ask of the motoring public is to be considerate of other roadway users and obey the traffic laws, so we can all make it home safely.”
The Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security, the Tennessee Highway Patrol, the Tennessee Department of Transportation, AAA – The Auto Club Group and Students Against Destructive Decisions also serve as partners in the campaign.
“The THP supports the THSO’s ‘Slow Down Tennessee’ campaign,” THP Colonel Matt Perry said. “All across Tennessee, we have seen an escalation in speeding that has led directly to an increase in traffic fatalities. We are asking our law enforcement and education partners, including all drivers, to join us in slowing down Tennessee.”
According to Tennessee’s Integrated Traffic Analysis Network (TITAN), there were nearly 23,000 speeding-related crashes in Tennessee from 2017 to 2019, with 36% if those crashes involving drivers aged 18 to 24 years old.
According to data also provided by TITAN, in 2020 their were 218 speeding-related crashes in Williamson County, up from 186 speeding-related crashes in 2019.
“Speeding is a significant problem in our state, and not just with older adults,” said Tennessee Regional Manager Gavin Gill of SADD. “Young adults and teenagers are engaging in this risky behavior, as well. During the pandemic, many teenagers felt that speeding would not harm them since the roadways were clear.
"Now with Tennessee cities and towns opening back up, that risky behavior is causing teenagers to get in fatal speeding crashes. That is why SADD is excited to help educate and promote that young drivers need to follow the marked speed limits and slow down.”