JCPD seeing progress with 'A Safer 26 in '24' campaign

Feb. 26, 2024

JCPD seeing progress with ‘A Safer 26 in ’24’ campaign

Today marks one month since Johnson City Police Chief Billy Church announced a multi-jurisdictional effort to promote traffic safety on Interstate 26. The Johnson City Police Department, Tennessee Highway Patrol, and multiple state agencies and local law enforcement teams joined forces for ‘A Safer 26 in ’24.’

“Through this campaign, we want to change dangerous driving habits, and that will take time. That is why our efforts on I-26 will continue in the months to come. If you drive on I-26, you play a role in improving safety for yourself, for the people of northeast Tennessee and for its visitors,” said Chief Church.

JCPD reports a significant decline in the number of crashes from Jan. 26 through Feb. 23, 2024 compared to the same time frame in 2023. This year, officers responded to 26 crashes compared to 41 last year.

During the first month of the campaign, JCPD officers made 434 traffic stops on I-26. That’s compared to 185 during the same time the previous year. Speeding ranked as the number one traffic violation during both time periods. It is important to note that not all traffic stops resulted in citations. Some drivers were given verbal warnings concerning their violations.

The Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP) logged 219 traffic stops in Washington County / Johnson City associated with ‘A Safer 26 in ’24’ from Jan. 26 to Feb. 25. That’s compared to 44 stops the previous year. Of this year’s stops, 142 resulted in citations; most of those were issued for speeding.

“We are starting to see some drivers transform their driving habits. The changes are encouraging. However, for ‘A Safer 26 in ’24’ motorists need to obey the speed limit, keep plenty of space between their car and the one ahead, and drive without distractions every day – not just when they see law enforcement vehicles,” said THP Sgt. Matthew Blankenship.

Drivers will continue to see enhanced traffic enforcement on I-26 as JCPD, THP and other area law enforcement teams unite to save lives and improve safety.