NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Holiday travelers will see an increased presence from the Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP) this Memorial Day Weekend, as the agency hopes to reduce the number of crashes across the state during the holiday.

THP announced it would increase patrols and utilize a variety of traffic safety enforcement measures in order to keep the roadways safe for holiday travel. The Memorial Day holiday period begins at 6 p.m. Friday, May 27, and concludes 5:59 a.m. Tuesday, May 31. Several checkpoints will be set up throughout the weekend to check for seat belt violations and impaired driving.

“We are committed to saving lives and preventing injuries on Tennessee roads. Memorial Day weekend is when we start seeing heavier traffic,” Col. Matt Perry said. “This is the time of year for family vacations and outdoor activities. Our troopers will be focused on distracted driving, speeding, impaired driving and seat belt laws during the holiday and throughout the summer months.”

Perry added he has instructed district captains to use all available resources to ensure traffic safety but also appealed to drivers for assistance.

“I am asking that all motorists help us make this a safe summer,” he said. “You can do this by ignoring your phone, driving the speed limit, wearing your seat belt and designating a sober driver. If you plan to drink, do not drive.”

Last year, 10 people were killed in crashes during the Memorial Day Weekend. Five of the occupant fatalities were not wearing their seat belts, and one occurred in an alcohol-related crash. Two motorcycle riders were killed last Memorial Day Weekend, as was one pedestrian, according to THP.

“This Memorial Day Weekend, as we pause and remember the heroes who gave the ultimate sacrifice, please remember to keep yourself and those who will be in your vehicle safe,” said Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security Commissioner Jeff Long. “Through education and enforcement along with voluntary compliance from the motoring public, we can make this a safe and enjoyable weekend for everyone.”

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State troopers arrested 78 individuals on suspicion of DUI and ticketed 743 motorists for violation of the seat belt law; they also issued 1,867 speeding tickets during the 2021 Memorial Day Weekend.