Thanksgiving travel throughout Tennessee is expected to reach the highest levels since 2007, with more than a million motorists on the roads of the state.
To enable that travel to remain safe and arrive at its destination, the Governor’s Highway Safety Office and Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) is shutting down all road construction site lane closures on interstate and state highways from Wednesday afternoon through early Monday morning next week.
The goal of the TDOT move is to minimize the lane closures and other traffic hazards that could cause accidents. In addition to the GHSO, they are also coordinating with the Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP) to improve safety on I-40 and the 455 miles it covers across the state.
The THP will have troopers station at 20-mile intervals along I-40 and there will be an increased presence of law enforcement on all the highways of the state. The head of the GHSO warns drivers to wear their seatbelts, mind the speed limit and not to drive impaired.
The major holidays are always an excuse for dinners and parties that encourage people to have one more drink. While hosts are unlikely to offer “one for the road,” it is easy to become intoxicated during a long dinner or a family get-together.
With the increased law enforcement presence, not only will impaired drivers be pulled over, but also with extra troopers on the road, any infraction that calls attention to your vehicle could invite a traffic stop, where the trooper will be looking to find an impaired driver to charge with a DUI.
And if they look long enough, they are likely to find something. So even if you believe you are well under the Tennessee limit of 0.08 BAC, an officer may feel they should err on the side of “caution” and arrest you anyway.
The THP will also be operating sobriety checkpoints over the long weekend at these locations throughout the state. Expect slow traffic in the vicinity of a checkpoint.
Chattanoogan.com, “No Lane Closures On Tennessee Highways During The Thanksgiving Holiday,” November 24, 2014