Sheriff’s Department to increase patrols
The Thanksgiving holiday brings many things to the Sevier County area, great shopping, wonderful displays by all three cities in the area of Christmas lights and of course, lots of traffic.
According to the Tennessee Department of Transportation more than 700,000 Tennesseans will take to the roads for the holiday season that will kick off for Thanksgiving. That’s a rise of about ten percent over last year and the National Transportation Board expects traffic to be at the level highest since the 9/11 disaster. In addition, Friday is expected to be the busiest traffic day of the year, not only on our roads, but also on the Interstates through the county and surrounding counties.
According to Sevier County Sheriff Bruce Montgomery traffic in Sevier County will increase as well.
“We expect a lot of people,” said Sheriff Montgomery. “We think everyone will have a good time this weekend and take in all the sights of Sevier County. The shopping will be great and the hotels will have lots of people in them.”
The Sheriff will increase patrols of the area also, looking for the drivers that violate the speed laws and watching just a little closer for violators. In addition the Sheriff’s Department works closely with the Tennessee Highway Patrol looking for drivers that decide to drink and drive.
According to the Knoxville Police, they have made over 1,000 DUI arrests over the year, that’s a 44 percent increase over 2003, so all the law enforcement agencies will be working closely to eliminate the risk.
The police departments suggest that drivers do some common sense things to get through the traffic in the area. Be patient, take your time and leave early for wherever you are going. Remember if you are going somewhere to celebrate and you are drinking, make sure you have someone to go with you that can drive. DUI laws are becoming stricter and risking the drive could mean not only a financial loss, but a life lost also.
“We expect even the back roads will have a lot of traffic on them,” said Montgomery. “It’s going to be a busy weekend.