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January 2, 2008
New Year 2007-2008 Preliminary Statistics

Decline In Traffic Fatalities Over New Year's Holiday Weekend

Nashville, Tennessee ---Preliminary reports indicate nine people were killed during the New Year’s holiday weekend, compared with 16 fatalities during last year’s holiday.  Statistics for the 2007-2008 New Year’s holiday reflect the time period from 6:00 p.m., Friday, December 28, 2007, to midnight Tuesday, January, 1, 2008.

If preliminary figures hold true, seven fewer fatalities occurred on Tennessee highways this New Year’s holiday than last year, despite a longer holiday period.  In 2006-2007, the official holiday period was 78-hours.  This year, the holiday period was 102-hours.

This holiday, there were seven fatal crashes. Six were single vehicle crashes, while one was a multiple vehicle crash.  Five of the nine victims were not wearing safety restraints.  Alcohol was involved in only one of the seven crashes, which represents a decline from eight fatalities in alcohol-related crashes in 2006-2007. 

THP participated in the Governor’s Highway Safety Office’s Cumberland Crackdown.  During the 12-hour special enforcement initiative on Friday, December 28, 2007, the THP and 22 other local law enforcement agencies teamed-up to conduct saturation patrols and sobriety checkpoints. The Cumberland Crackdown focused enforcement efforts on Highways 127 and 111 from the Kentucky border and across the Cumberland Plateau to Hamilton County and the Georgia border.

A preliminary holiday statistical report, including the locations of where the fatal crashes occurred over the 2007-08 New Year’s holiday period, accompanies this release and is available through the link at the top of this page.  Please note the official traffic fatality count may rise due to delays in reporting and classification of traffic fatalities.

The highest number of fatalities recorded during the New Year’s holiday period occurred during the 78-hour period in 1970-71, when 19 people were killed in Tennessee traffic crashes.  The lowest number of deaths occurred in 1982-83, when eight people were killed in a 78-hour period.

The Tennessee Department of Safety’s mission is ( to ensure the safety and general welfare of the public.  The department encompasses the Tennessee Highway Patrol, Office of Homeland Security and Driver License Services. General areas of responsibility include law enforcement, safety education, motorist services and terrorism prevention.