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Tennessee Highway Patrol launches safety campaign

The Tennessee Highway Patrol has launched a traffic safety enforcement and education campaign in order to decrease the amount of personal injuries arising from school zone car accidents. The "Back to School" campaign will focus on the issue of motorists speeding in school zones, which is a problem in Nashville and across the state.

"We are urging motorists to exercise caution, be alert and to slow down in school zones and around school buses," said a highway patrol spokesperson. "Our state troopers will not hesitate to hand out citations, but that is not our objective. This enforcement campaign was designed to encourage everyone to practice safe driving and pedestrian habits."

Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security Commissioner Bill Gibbons said that the highway patrol will seek to encourage motorists to obey the 15 mph speed limit surrounding school zones and to protect school children from suffering personal injuries from being struck by speeders.

"We must educate motorists, parents and children on the importance of safe pedestrian movement and accident prevention in order to ensure traffic safety," Gibbons added. "We all have a responsibility to make sure children travel to and from school safely."

Motorists can face up to a $500 ticket for speeding in a school zone. Last year 739 school zone speeding tickets were issued to Tennessee motorists. Fines for passing school buses as they load or unload children are also stiff. A driver who passes a loading or unloading school bus faces a minimum fine of $250 which can go as high as $1,000.

Source: Clarksville Online, "Tennessee Highway Patrol Encourages Back to School Safety," Aug. 9, 2011

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