“Slow Down Tennessee” Campaign Begins


Speeding contributes to about 26 percent of people dying in traffic crashes in America, the Tennessee Highway Safety Office reported.

That’s one reason why the Rutherford County Traffic Safety Task Force members will try to reduce deaths, injuries and crashes related to speeding during the “Slow Down Tennessee” campaign Oct. 15-29.

Task Force members will team up to enforce speeding laws through visibility, education and the issuance of citations from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday throughout Rutherford County.

Tennessee Highway Patrol Lt. Jon Officer said drivers were involved in 4,861 crashes this year in Rutherford County, an increase of 9.7 percent from last year.

“Speeding has been a contributing factor in many of those crashes that have the occupants sustaining serious injuries and even death,” Officer said. “I want to remind everyone to slow down while going to work, taking your children to school or traveling with family and friends.”

Sheriff’s Sgt. Michael Rodgers said there were 201 crashes where people died or suffered serious injuries in 2019 in Rutherford County.

“Thirty-eight of those crashes involved a speeding driver,” Rodgers said. “That is the second most significant category of contributing factors with people not wearing seat belts the first contributing factor.”

Smyrna Police Chief Kevin Arnold said “making the decision to slow down impacts your safety and the safety of other motorists. Speeding reduces the amount of time you have to react to avoid a crash. This increases the severity of a crash and the potential for injury or death.”

Murfreesboro Police Capt. Cary Gensemer said speeding is one of the more dangerous moving violations.

“Speed-related crashes are more severe and contribute to a significant number of crashes each year,” Gensemer said. “Speeding not only endangers the life of the speeder but all of the people on the road around them.”

Law enforcement agencies will also watch for speeding younger drivers. Traffic crashes are the leading cause of deaths for teenagers in the U.S.

Drivers who are cited for speeding will pay a minimum fine and court costs of $293.50 in Rutherford County and $203.75 in Eagleville, a minimum fine between $130 and $160 in Murfreesboro and a minimum fine of $143.75 in Smyrna.

Officer asked drivers to slow down during Halloween events.

“With Halloween just a few weeks away, be mindful of children out trick or treating,” Officer said.