In our post earlier this week, we told you how the number of Tennessee traffic deaths is on the rise. Compared to this time last year, there have been at least 30 more deaths in 2012. With a lot of people purchasing new bikes, the number of motorcycle accidents has risen significantly in the state, too.

Local officials intend to do something about the alarming numbers, and they are teaming up with Knoxville police officers to try to reduce the number of fatal car accidents. The Department of Safety and Homeland Security commissioner reportedly talked to Knoxville troopers recently about ways reduce deadly accidents.

The idea is to be even more proactive in enforcing rules and issuing citations. Troopers have apparently made 42 percent more DUI arrests compared to this time last year. In addition, citations for seat belt violations are up a whopping 52 percent from last year. The commissioner thinks that the work the troopers are doing will ultimately have an impact on saving lives.

One reason such citations are up is because drunk driving and failing to wear a seat belt are common elements in car accidents this year. About one in three Tennessee car accidents this year involved drunk drivers, and about half involved un-seat belted motorists.

Clearly, there are serious safety issues that need to be addressed, and hopefully Tennessee drivers will get the message that driving more safely and cautiously can save lives.

Source: WBIR, “Tenn. works to decrease number of deadly crashes,” July 18, 2012