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The Tennessee Department of Transportation has announced the five winning messages selected for TDOT’s Dynamic Message Sign Contest. The #1 winning message, “Do your duty. Seatbelt your booty!”, will run on our overhead Dynamic Message Signs this week. That message, along with the other winning messages, will be placed in rotation to run on the overhead Dynamic Message Signs statewide throughout the year. Over 2,000 entries were submitted and nearly 8,000 votes were cast for the 15 finalist messages. The messages covered issues such as distracted driving, seatbelt usage, impaired driving, speeding and aggressive driving.
The top five messages in order of votes are:
Do your duty. Seatbelt your booty!
Use your blinking blinker!
Be Kind. Don't ride my behind.
In a hurry? Shoulda left early. Slow down!
We've upped our road safety, so up yours.
A total of 177 Dynamic Message Signs are located in the state’s four urban areas (Chattanooga, Knoxville, Memphis, Nashville), and in some rural areas across the state. The main purpose of the signs is to alert motorists of incidents, lane blockages, hazardous road conditions, or Amber Alerts.
In 2012, TDOT became the first DOT in the nation to display roadway fatality numbers on the overhead signs. In addition to the fatality statistics, safety messages are displayed during off-peak travel times.
One woman died from a hit and run in Anderson County, according to the Tennessee Highway Patrol.
Investigators told Local 8 News 25-year-old Isaac A. Irwin was traveling South on Clinton Highway when he hit and killed 35-year-old Jade Richardson early Sunday morning near West Wolf Valley Road.
Officers said Irwin was driving under the influence and never stopped his vehicle when he realized he hit Richardson.
25-year-old Destany L. Cotner was in the vehicle with Irwin. Police said she was also under the influence.
Both Irwin and Cotner were taken into custody unharmed.
Police said Irwin is charged with driving under the influence, driving while license is revoked and leaving the scene of a crash with death involved.
Two teenage boys were taken in to custody after taking a van from the Smoky Mountain Children's home in Sevierville and crashing it in Chattanooga Sunday night.
Dispatchers from Sevier County, Knox County and the Tennessee Highway Patrol told Local 8 News the teens took a 15 passenger van and headed from Sevier County through Knox County then south on I-75.
The van was seen driving around 100 miles per hour before it crashed in Chattanooga.
The Eco Travel Plaza in Crossville has set up a Go Fund Me Account to help raise money for the Wadsworth Family who tragically lost their 7-year-old daughter Tara in a house fire over the weekend. On the site, Brenton Demko says team members are asking the public to help them “raise money for food, clothing and memorial costs associated with this terrible event”.
Donations can me made online at https://www.gofundme.com/wadsworth-family-tragedy
Early Saturday morning, emergency personnel responded to a house fire on Highway 70 East in Cumberland County, near the 4000th block in Crab Orchard. According to reports, a female was trapped in her room. The crews were on scene for over six hours. There were reportedly nearly 50 firefighters and 8 trucks on scene, with one firefighter treated for smoke inhalation. Three others fell through the floor, but did no sustain injuries. One fatality, 7-year-old Tara Wadsworth, was reported from the fire. The home was not able to be salvaged, and the source of the fire has not yet been confirmed.
(Photo Courtesy Eco Travel Plaza, gofundme)
The Tennessee Hospital Association has come out against a new congressional health care proposal that would repeal and replace the Obama health care law, saying Tennesseans could lose health coverage if the measure passes into law.
The organization's president and CEO, Craig Becker, said in statement Friday that a significant number of the roughly 230,000 Tennesseans currently covered by the program could lose their coverage because the new plan cuts federal subsidies to help people pay for insurance.
The hospital association acknowledged real challenges with the law as it is now. However, Becker said the new measure proposed by House Republicans could drive up the costs of uncompensated care.
The hospital association says Tennessee hospitals provide nearly $2 billion annually in services to the uninsured.