We keep chipping, chipping away at unsafe driving
by Jim Ruth, Bradlely County Sheriff
Apr 28, 2013 | 436 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Our Campaign Lifesaver appears to be having some effect. Our effort to get the word out across the community to drive safely is being heard.

This past year, the whole state of Tennessee had a record number of people killed in car crashes. Yet, statistics for the first quarter of 2013 for Bradley County are promising.

Compared to 2012, they are as follows: for the first quarter of 2012 there were 812 crashes, while the same for 2013 was 699 for a 13.9 percent drop. The number of crashes with injuries during the same periods was 164 and 129, respectively, for a 21.3 percent drop. Total injuries were 223 and 177, respectively, for a 20.6 percent drop. Finally, the total killed for the same period was 6 for 2012 and 3 for 2013, for a 50 percent drop.

I believe the decrease in these statistics is due to our efforts of heightened visibility in problem areas, more traffic stops by the patrol division, additional attention given through the news media and, also, shared information at schools and clubs throughout the county.

I am still amazed by the number of speeders at all times of the day and night. I personally patrol at different hours every week in an unmarked vehicle and I see firsthand those who are speeding, texting or otherwise distracted.

Our Campaign Lifesaver is still ongoing. I appreciate the help of all those who have been active in efforts to make our streets and roads safe.

I do hear of it often about rude drivers, people texting or talking on cellphones or interfering with or disrupting traffic in some other way. It will take most of us continuing to talk about it to successfully bring awareness of this dangerous trend.

Who would have even thought, just a few years ago, that we would be having traffic jams here in Cleveland?

The folks who moved here from large cities only laugh when we talk of our mini-traffic jams.

The point I am trying to make this week is: Be alert and focused on driving when you are behind the wheel. The slightest distraction can be fatal to you or someone you love.

These tragedies and injuries that occur in traffic crashes are very costly in dollars and cents. But, the primary thing is that they bring immeasurable hurt and misery to loved ones who are scarred for life.

We are as concerned with saving lives through traffic safety measures as we are with any other public safety issue, such as preventing violent crimes.

As always, thanks for reading.