SPD Announces SAFE Campaign Participation The Sevierville Police Department is partnering with the Tennessee Highway Safety Office (THSO) for its fifth annual Seatbelts Are For Everyone (SAFE) 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 SAFE campaign begins February 1, 2018, and concludes August 1, 2018. “In Tennessee, about 50% of traffic fatalities each year are unbelted,” said SPD Chief Don Myers. “This just isn’t acceptable. Please help save lives by ensuring that you, your children, family and friends use their seatbelts and child safety seats every time you travel.” 2018 will be the fifth year that the THSO has sponsored the SAFE campaign. 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 SAFE 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 SAFE campaign this year. For more information about the THSO, please visit www.tntrafficsafety.org.