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UTHSC Participates in S.A.F.E. Campaign for Second Year



UTHSC Campus Police are doing their part to ensure seat belt safety in the medical district. (Photo by Allen Gillespie/UTHSC)

For the second year, the Campus Police Department at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) is partnering with the Tennessee Highway Safety Office (THSO) for its fifth annual Seatbelts Are For Everyone (S.A.F.E.) campaign.

This statewide initiative is designed to increase seatbelt usage and child passenger safety restraint usage through the implementation of occupant-protection programs, public events, and checkpoints throughout local communities across Tennessee. The S.A.F.E. campaign began February 1, 2018, and concludes August 1, 2018.

On a daily basis, The UTHSC Campus Police Officers strive to increase seat belt usage within the medical district. “Our goal as a department is to constantly be a reinforcement and encourage individuals to take corrective action relative to seatbelt and child passenger safety,” said Joanne Morrow, sergeant at the UTHSC Campus Police Department and caampaign site coordinator.

Last year yielded the following results:
• 1,480 child restraint violations
• 16,571 seat belt citations
• 835 other seat belt enforcement activities

“In 2016, Tennessee’s average seatbelt usage rate was 88.95 percent,” said THSO Director Vic Donoho. “Last year, the state’s usage rate decreased to 88.51 percent. Our goal this year is to achieve 100 percent seatbelt usage across Tennessee through the S.A.F.E. campaign and other occupant-protection initiatives.”

In Tennessee, a disproportionate percentage of unrestrained fatalities tend to occur between the hours of 6:00 p.m. and 5:59 a.m. Historically, approximately fifty percent of Tennessee’s traffic fatalities are unbelted. That percentage increases to nearly sixty when nighttime crashes are examined. Therefore, participating agencies will focus special attention toward nighttime seatbelt enforcement during the S.A.F.E. campaign this year.

For more information about the THSO, please visit www.tntrafficsafety.org.