published Saturday, August 16th, 2014

Chattanooga police focus on reducing traffic crashess

The Chattanooga Police Department has joined with the Tennessee Highway Patrol to launch a new Crash Reduction Initiative on city streets.

Friday marked the start of the initiative, which involves a surge of additional officers patrolling rural and city streets, working to decrease the number of traffic fatalities to zero.

"We are going to have several officers out and about, focusing on problematic areas where we have had traffic crashes," said Lieutenant Adrian Gibb with the Chattanooga Police Department. "The combined effort with Tennessee Highway Patrol allows us to have more officers out making positive contacts in the community and to better educate them on driving habits."

The initiative plans to increase officers' visibility throughout the city and specifically in areas that are historically prone to traffic accidents.

Predictive analytic software that the THP recently bought will be used in the initiative, said Lt. John Harmon with the Tennessee Highway Patrol.

"It's a new system and it is working," he said.

Researching former traffic patterns and accidents, it was determined that the initiative would focus on the Interstate 75 and Highway 153 area on Friday night.

The initiative will change its areas of focus throughout the remainder of the year, Harmon said.

Chattanooga already has had 21 traffic-related fatalities this year, compared to 29 for all of last year.

"We are trying to slow this number down," Gibb said.

Contact staff writer Kendi Anderson at kendi.anderson@timesfreepress.com or at 423-757-6592.

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