Patrols out in full force for July 4

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Patrols are out in full force this weekend for your safety. Every year Independence Day driving causes a deadly weekend on the roads.

There were five fatalities in the 11 county Knoxville district during the same weekend last year. With more than 600,000 Tennesseans expected to travel, agencies from across East Tennessee say all hands are on deck to keep you safe.

When you hit the road through Independence Day, you're likely to see THP Trooper Richard Conaster, or one of his friends. Conaster took Volunteer TV for a Friday as he gears up for the holiday weekend.

"We're going to be looking for speeding violations, seat belt violations, following too close, improper lane changes. Aggressive driving. Reckless driving," said Capt. Cheryl Sanders with THP.

THP and law enforcement agencies from around East Tennessee are saturating the roads Friday from 7 p.m. to 3 a.m. The collaboration aims to keep you safe.

"We want the drivers to know we're going to be watching your behavior out here on the roads," said Steve Dillard, our region's law enforcement liasion with the Governor's Highway Safety Office.

"July 4th holiday weekend has always been a bad weekend as far as traffic fatalities go. And a lot of them are alcohol impaired," said Sanders.

Last year 4 out 5 fatalities in the Knoxville district were alcohol related. Julia Strike with Mothers Against Drunk Driving says it doesn't mean don't have a good time. It means don't drive.

"Just make a plan before you drink. Because once you start, you're not able to make that kind of decision," said Strike.

Sobreity and driver license checkpoints will also be stationed. Officers hope the crackdown keeps you alive.

"Our goal would be zero fatalities. We would love to see that," said Dillard.


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