Traffic News October 1, 2009

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Octob er Traffic News October 1, 2009 Traffic Section Newsletter October 1, 2009 METROPOLITAN POLICE DEPARTMENT Halloween night this year falls on a Saturday making it even more common for people to drink and drive. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in 2008, 58% of all traffic fatalities across the nation on Halloween night involved a driver or motorcycle rider with a BAC of .08 or higher. In Davidson County, last year October was the second highest month for t
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  Traffic News October 1, 2009    T   r   a    f    f    i   c   S   e   c   t    i   o   n   N   e   w   s    l   e   t   t   e   r   O   c   t   o    b   e   r   1 ,   2   0   0   9    M   E   T   R   O   P   O   L   I   T   A   N    P   O   L   I   C   E    D   E   P   A   R   T   M   E   N   T October Remember Halloweennight when you were achild? Picking yourfavorite costume andcounting down the daysuntil you got to wearit. By the time Halloweennight arrived you were soexcited all you could think about was putting thatcostume on and runningfrom house to house trick-or-treating. The thingfarthest from your mindwas watching for cars asyou crossed the street orworse getting hit by a car.Put yourself in the child’sshoes as you drive througha residential area onHalloween night. Do notlet your Halloween turninto a night of terror. Bealert and do NOT drinkand drive.  Halloween night this year falls on aSaturday making it even more commonfor people to drink and drive. Accordingto the National Highway Traffic SafetyAdministration in 2008, 58% of alltraffic fatalities across the nation onHalloween night involved a driver ormotorcycle rider with a BAC of .08 orhigher. In Davidson County, last yearOctober was the second highest monthfor traffic fatalities. It was the highestmonth for traffic fatalities involvingsomeone under the influence.The traffic section has arrested andcharged 3,037 people this year withDriving Under the Influence. DUIarrests are up 7% from this time lastyear. The impact of this increase isevident in the amount of traffic fatalitiesthis year; which are down 6% . TheTraffic Section is confident that there isa direct correlation between these twoevents and will continue to make DUIarrests a top priority.  Page 2 TRAFFIC SECTION NEWSLETTER OCTOBER 1, 2009 In 2007, Congress implemented National Teen Driver Safety Week as the 3 rd week in October to focus on theepidemic of teen car crashes. During 2006, on U.S. roads, more than 5,000 teens died due to a teen-related crash.This number may seem high to some but unknown to most; teens die more each year from car crashes than drugs,violence or suicide.Distractions are the number one cause of teen crashes followed closely by speeding, drinking, talking on a cellphone and driving at night. Laws are being established to limit the amount of distractions and to combat the othercauses of crashes involving teens. This summer, Tennessee established a law prohibiting text messaging whiledriving by all drivers. Focusing more on teen drivers, cell phone and any hand-held device usage is prohibited bya driver that possesses a Learner or Intermediate Stage driver’s license. Tennessee has also limited nighttimedriving for driver’s possessing Learner Permits and Intermediate Stage driver’s license. Driving between thehours of 11p.m. and 6a.m. is restricted for these drivers unless they can meet a requirement justifying the need todrive. To learn more about the specific requirements surrounding teen driving after 11 p.m. please A distraction that is usually forgotten, but one of the greatest distractions, is a peer passenger . One teen peerpassenger doubles the risk a teen driver will get into a fatal crash; three or more quadruples the risk. Tennessee has limited the number of passengers to siblings that are being transported to or from either home orschool or 1 passenger . If there is a licensed driver that is at least 21 years of age in the vehicle, this law does notapply. More than half the teens who die in crashes are passengers. Most of these passengers are not wearingtheir seatbelts. In Davidson County, 58% of people killed in crashes this year have been unrestrained. Last year,Nationwide, 55% of people killed in crashes were unrestrained. Keep this in mind when you get in your car andalways wear your seatbelt.The laws are making our teens safer on the streets but we need to make sure that the information is beingrelayed to them. Parents please talk to your children about the importance of safe driving and visit the webpageprovided above for more information. OCTOBER 2008 FATAL CRASH RECAP   7 CRASHES   8   DEATHS   5 UNDER THE INFLUENCE 4 NOT WEARING SEATBELTS   20-42 AGE RANGE OF VICTIMS *Information gained on this page is from the NHTSA and State of TN Department of Safety. * Pictures taken from    OCTOBER 1,2009 Page 3 CRIME STOPPERS Crime Stoppers - 862-7463 - CrimeStoppers can refer you to a specializedcrime unit if needed (i.e. - Gang Unit,Vice, Gambling and Prostitution, etc.)Traffic/ Hit & Run - 862-7713 & 862-7738You can also provide tips and witnessinformation at our website :  Call 74-CRIME ORText the word CASH and your messageto Crimes (274637)  ALL THREE WAYS ARE ANONYMOUS AND SECURE. During August 2009, approximately 1540 traffic collisions were reported in Davidson County. Thetwo most common causes of crashes are: Following Improperly (14%) and Failure to Yield (11%).Both of these causes be can be easily eliminated thus reducing the number of automobile collisionsoccurring each year.   Regardless of how alert a driver may be, when following too closely there is not enough time toreact if the driver in front makes a sudden change in driving pattern. During daylight and perfectweather conditions it takes 1.6 seconds for the average person to perceive and react to a suddenchange. Traveling at 35MPH your car would continue to travel 82.15 ft before realizing there was achange that required you to react. At 55MPH your car would travel 129.04 ft before realizing therewas a change. To avoid this problem, a safe following distance must be maintained. A safe follow-ing distance should allow you to stop accordingly or to make a well planned decision to change laneswithout disrupting the flow of traffic. When driving in inclement weather the safe following dis-tance should be doubled.Whether turning into or from a private or public street a driver must yield to oncoming traffic. Theonly time this does not apply is when there is a green arrow light. Many people attempt to turnquickly in front of oncoming traffic often causing collisions. Consider this when turning…. trafficthat has the right of way should not have to make any adjustments to their speed due to your actions.When yielding, you should be able to stop if needed or proceed if the road is clear. Having to makethis decision requires a vehicle driving at a slow rate of speed.Following these recommendations will not only save you time and money but may also save yourlife. Waiting for a few extra cars to go by before turning and maintaining a safe following distance  The Special Operations Division, Traffic Section of the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department strives to make our streets the safest streets inthe country for traveling and local motorists. One way we are able to do thisis by receiving tips from you, the Nashville Community. You can provide your tips online at : aggressive_driving.htm. Another way we are improving the safety of our roadways is through education and information sharing. If you have a topic you need information on, chances are someone else does too. Feel free toe-mail me at with your traffic related questions. I will answer your questions and may also include a sectioncovering that topic in future newsletters. 1417 Murfreesboro PikeNashville, TN 37219 METROPOLITAN POLICEDEPARTMENT Phone: (615)862-7738Fax: (615)880-2894E-mail:  Special Operations Division ,Traffic Section 
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