Driver Safety Awareness: “Slow Down Tennessee”

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HAMILTON COUNTY, TENN. (WDEF)- The Tennessee Highway Safety Office and partnering agencies launch their “Slow Down Tennessee” campaign starting Friday.

The goal is to increase driver safety awareness and reduce the number speed related crashes.

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Traffic is about to pick up as America continues to progress through the pandemic.

“Right now, at least in Ooltewah and around the Collegedale area, I see a lot more people on the road than I’ve seen in the last several months” says Chief of the Tri-Community Volunteer Fire Department Dennis Thomason. “Probably including last summer.”

In the first four months of 2021, Tennessee recorded over 60 more fatal traffic accidents in comparison to April of 2020.

Chief Thomason says the increase is a result of increased traffic and poor driving habits.

“Don’t be distracted” says Chief Thomason. “Don’t speed. Pay attention to the traffic lights. I see everyday out here, I’ll see at least 10 people run red lights just as I’m moving around on calls.”

Chief Thomason recalls drivers being distracted by a traffic accident over the weekend.

“The wreck that we had up on the interstate Saturday, we had a lot of people going by trying to take video. We’ve got guys moving around in a zone. Watch out for us and certainly don’t be distracted in those kind of zones.”

And a rule of thumb when first responders are traveling past you.

“If you see us responder, whether it be us, any fire department, ambulance or police responding, move to the right. Let us get around you. Don’t make us follow you three miles. If you’re in an intersection the best thing to do is just sit where you’re at and we’ll move around you.”

In addition to eliminating poor driving habits, The Tri-Community Volunteer Fire Department’s number one rule of safety when you hit the road is to buckle up.