NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — In order to make sure everyone enjoys their Labor Day weekend, Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP) urges drivers to make safe choices on the road.

According to authorities, THP plans to launch a holiday traffic enforcement effort from 6 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 1. until 5:59 a.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 5.

“As summer nears an end, people hit the road for one last adventure. Therefore, we expect to see more vehicles on the road this holiday weekend,” said Col. Matt Perry. “This is why I have challenged our captains to utilize a variety of specialized enforcement strategies to make Tennessee roads as safe as we can, including watching for distracted driving, commercial vehicle safety, move-over, and seat belt violations. This includes an especially strong emphasis on detecting and removing impaired drivers from the roads.”

This 84-hour holiday enforcement period comes after 13 people died in crashes on Tennessee roadways during Labor Day weekend last year, including two people in Davidson County, two in Rutherford County, one in Robertson County, one in Giles County, and one in Putnam County, officials said.

According to THP, of the people killed across the state during last year’s long holiday weekend, seven were vehicle occupants, three of whom were not wearing safety restraints; four were pedestrians; and two were motorcyclists. In addition, five of the 13 fatalities were reportedly alcohol-related. 

Even though there was a death every 6.5 hours along the Volunteer State’s roads during Labor Day 2022, authorities compared that to Labor Day 2021, when there

Meanwhile, preliminary figures indicate there have been 2,979 crashes in Tennessee involving alcohol-impaired drivers in the first six months of 2023, which is less than the 3,026 crashes reported during that same period in 2022. THP said it has worked to reduce the number of alcohol-related crashes by arresting 3,054 people for driving under the influence in 2023.

Officials said they will also vigorously enforce the state’s seat belt law, noting that 263 people who were not wearing their seat belts have been killed so far this year in Tennessee. In that same timeframe, THP has already issued 19,268 citations to individuals for wearing seat belts.

“During the holiday weekend as we celebrate our hard work, we must remember to be safe in doing so. I am personally asking that you help us keep Tennessee roads safe for everyone. Choose to make the safety of yourself, your family, and everyone around you your top priority,” Perry added.