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FATAL TRAFFIC CRASHES IN CHATTANOOGA



2015: 7 (to date)
2014: 25
2013: 29
Source: Chattanooga Police Department

ALL CRASHES - HAMILTON COUNTY
2014: 15,583
2013: 16,683
Source: Chattanooga Police Department

Bad drivers might want to stay home today -- and Friday, and Saturday.

Because on those days, the Tennessee Highway Patrol and Chattanooga police will be extra-focused on stopping distracted and dangerous drivers on local roads.

The two agencies are launching a crash reduction initiative this weekend that will be repeated randomly throughout the summer, Tennessee Highway Patrol Lt. John Harmon said.

The agencies will be more visible than normal and will target distracted and impaired drivers in an attempt to reduce traffic fatalities, Harmon said.

"We'll be utilizing all tools we have," he said. "Motorcycles, unmarked cars, perhaps a van, to catch distracted drivers."

So far this year, seven people have been killed in traffic accidents in Chattanooga. At this time last year, nine people had been killed.

During all of 2014, 25 people were killed in crashes, according to Chattanooga police.

Overall, there were 15,583 traffic crashes in Hamilton County during 2014. And Sgt. Justin Kilgore said that's too many.

"We want these crashes and serious injuries to stop," he said. "It's not OK. We need to talk to our families and our friends and get them to slow down."

He added that the agencies aren't targeting one particular area of town over another.

"If it's a road in the city of Chattanooga or Hamilton County, we're going to target it," he said.

Contact staff writer Shelly Bradbury at 423-757-6525 or sbradbury@timesfreepress.com with tips or story ideas.

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