The Tennessee Highway Patrol says traffic fatalities on state roadways have declined nearly 14 percent for the first six months of 2013, compared with the same period last year. THP Colonel Tracy Trott says 436 people died in traffic crashes from January 1st through June 30th.
Tennessee Safety Commissioner Bill Gibbons says he had to send strong signals early in his time in charge of the state Highway Patrol that the election of a new governor would not lead to favoritism for certain troopers. Gibbons says Republican Governor Bill Haslam insisted after his 2010 election that only performance and merit would influence promotions and assignments. Gibbons says after the initial surprise on behalf of some within the agency, the policy has contributed to improved morale. Former Democratic Governor Phil Bredesen had to overhaul the agency following a series of scand