Chief wishes everyone a safe, happy holiday

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

I want to wish everyone a safe and happy holiday.

Still, here in Marshall County there were eight traffic fatalities during 2009 and that places us in the upper third - based on fatality rates by population- of counties in Tennessee.

The men and women of the Lewisburg Police Department ask that you do not put us in the position of having to deliver tragic news to the family of someone who dies needlessly in a crash because they didn't use their seat belt or because of drinking and driving.

Typically, during this time of year there are many holiday celebrations such as house and office parties. Many of these parties include the consumption of alcohol.

If you are going to attend an event where you will be consuming alcoholic beverages, plan ahead and have a designated driver who does not drink or make other arrangements for getting home.

Please, do not drink and drive.

Now, thanks to a grant from the Tennessee Governor's Highway Safety Office, our department has an increased focus on impaired drivers during the holiday season, through New Years. Do not ruin the holidays for you, your family or, someone else and their family by drinking and driving.

In 2009, 303 people died in alcohol related vehicle crashes in Tennessee. That is 31 percent of all the 989 traffic related fatalities in Tennessee that year. More than 50 percent of those who perished were not using passenger restraints, better known as seat belts.

The number of unrestrained occupants dying in motor vehicle crashes has decreased slightly so far this year, according to the Tennessee Governor's Highway Safety Office. However, there are still far too many drivers and occupants being killed because they are not using their seat belts.

Seat belts save lives. Motorists should ensure that all occupants of their vehicles wear seat belts or use child passenger restraint devices, also known as car seats.

Your Lewisburg Police Department is a Child Passenger Restraint Fitting and Inspection Station. We are happy to inspect your child's car seat and demonstrate the proper installation for the seat. This is a free service to ensure the safety of our children while riding in motor vehicles. All you have to do is call our department at 359-4044 to arrange an appointment.

May you and yours have a safe, happy holiday season.

Forbis is the chief of the Lewisburg Police Department.