TDOT and TDOSHS Launch Public Safety Campaign

Deadly Crashes Up, Traffic Volumes Down

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Tennessee Department of Transportation and our partners at the Department of Safety and Homeland Security are teaming up to raise public awareness of the alarming fatality crash rate on Tennessee’s roadways. It’s not OK for the number of deadly crashes to be at an all-time high in a year where traffic was at an all-time low.

“In 2020, fatalities increased nearly 7%, while traffic was down approximately 13% in Tennessee,” said TDOT Commissioner Clay Bright. “This number is staggering and it’s not OK. We want motorists to take notice and work with us in making a change.”

“Last year, we saw 1,211 fatalities on state highways,” Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security Commissioner Jeff Long said. “The loss of life is never easy, especially when it could have been avoided. We encourage the public to make safe choices when traveling. Obey the speed limit, stay off your phone, don’t drive distracted or impaired and please wear your seat belt. Those simple choices will greatly cut down the chances of you dying in a crash.” 

Of the 1,211 fatalities in 2020, 396 were unrestrained; that is 32% more than 2019. The urban and rural areas of our state were up 56% and 44% in fatalities. Shelby County leads the way with a total of 244 roadway fatalities in 2020; that’s 20% of the total deaths.

Throughout this week on social media, follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as TDOT will be posting information to raise awareness of the importance of driving safe.

In addition to social media, Safety messages are being displayed on TDOT’s overheard Dynamic Message Signs on interstates in Memphis, Nashville, Chattanooga and Knoxville.

From your desktop or mobile device, get the latest construction activity and live streaming SmartWay traffic cameras at www.TNSmartWay.com/Traffic. Travelers can also dial 511 from any land-line or cellular phone for travel information, or follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/TN511 for statewide travel or for West Tennessee follow https://twitter.com/NicLawrenceTDOT As always, drivers are reminded to use all motorist information tools wisely and Know Before You Go! by checking travel conditions before leaving for your destination.  Drivers should never tweet, text or talk on a cell phone while behind the wheel.

About Brad Jones

Brad is the Owner/Operator of BBB TV 12, and has been with the company since August of 1996. Brad is a 1987 graduate of Coalfield High School and a 1995 graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Communications. He won the 1995 broadcast production student of the year award. Brad worked at Shop at Home, Inc. a home shopping network that was located in Knoxville, TN from 1993 - 1995 and then at Via TV (RSTV, Inc.) from 1995 - 1996. After some freelance work in Nashville, Brad joined the BBB Communications staff in August of 1996. A short stint at WVLT TV as a news photographer was in 2001, but he continued to work at BBB TV as well. Brad is married to Nicole Jenkins Jones, a 1990 graduate of Oak Ridge High School, who works at Oak Ridge Gastroenterology and Associates in Oak Ridge. They have 3 kids, Trevor Bogard, 27, Chandler 22, and Naomi 13. On December 12, 2013 they welcomed their first grandchild, Carter Ryan Bogard. Brad is also the assistant boys basketball coach at Coalfield High School for the past 11 years. In 2013-14 the Yellow Jackets won their first district title since 1991 and just the 4th in school history.

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