Law enforcement in Tennessee is gearing up to crackdown on a number of different risky driving behaviors like distracted driving, drunk driving and not wearing a seatbelt. The hope is that the increased focus will help to combat the recent spike the state has seen in the number of motor vehicle related fatalities.
According to the director of the Governor's Highway Safety Office in Nashville, the number of traffic fatalities for the first three months of the year is up 28 percent from the same time period in 2011. Specifically, there have already been 238 fatal motor vehicle accidents in 2012. Last year there were 186.
Broken down by numbers for this year, in January there were 67 fatalities, followed by 71 deaths in February and 100 motor vehicle fatalities last month.
When looking at why there has been an increase, one Tennessee sheriff said reasons could include the fact that weather turned warmer earlier this year, and the economy has also gotten better, which has led to people driving more.
In the past, law enforcement agencies throughout the state have only targeted one dangerous driving behavior at a time, like drunk driving or speeding. However, a recently approved demonstration project will allow officers and deputies to target a number of issues at the same time.
The project is with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and will go on for two years.
Officials are hopeful that participation in this demonstration project will lead to preventing injury and fatality causing accidents from even happening in the first place.