Tag Archives: digital

TDOT To Continue Digital Billboard Display of Traffic Deaths in 2013 (but not as often)

News release from state Department of Transportation:
NASHVILLE – The Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) will continue to display fatality messages on its overhead Dynamic Message Signs, but will do so on a weekly basis rather than daily. TDOT began displaying the fatality numbers on the signs in April 2012 after seeing a sharp increase in fatalities in the first quarter of the year.
“We feel the fatality messages have been extremely successful in increasing awareness about highway deaths across the state this year, and may have helped us stop the dramatic increase we saw early in 2012,” said TDOT Commissioner John Schroer. “We have also heard from drivers who say the messages have caused them to make positive changes in their driving behavior.”
While somewhat controversial, the fatality messages have garnered mostly positive responses from Tennessee motorists. A Franklin, TN man emailed to say the signs made an impression on him and his friends, “I have to tell you that none of us ever wore seat belts until we saw those signs. We are all in our 50s and did not grow up wearing seatbelts. Since we saw your signs, we kid each other on how ALL of us always wear them now. You may think people are not paying attention because fatalities are up, but I have talked to so many people that have changed their seatbelt wearing habits since you put those signs up. Thank you.”
TDOT will also continue to run safety messages targeted at specific issues like texting while driving, drowsy driving, and driving under the influence.

Note: Previous post HERE

Digital Signs on TN Traffic Deaths Didn’t Lower TN Traffic Deaths (but maybe slowed the increase?)

State transportation officials have yet to decide whether they’ll keep using 151 electronic highway signs across Tennessee to show a daily count of traffic fatalities in 2013, according to the Tennessean.
Kendell Poole, director of the Governor’s Highway Safety Office, said the signs are a “victory for saving lives,” despite fatalities this year topping 1,000 and surpassing last year’s total. He favors using them again in 2013.
…As of Friday, there were 1,002 traffic deaths this year, 69 more than at the same point last year. In 2011, there were 938 total traffic fatalities, according to the Tennessee Department of Safety. (Note: The website listing fatalities, which on Monday morning still had Friday’s figures for 2012, is HERE.)
The increase raises questions about the effectiveness of the signs. Some motorists say they don’t work, but Poole and other state officials say, at a minimum, they get people talking about staying safe.
“It was always our goal to raise awareness, and we certainly think we have done that,” Tennessee Department of Transportation spokeswoman Beth Emmons said. “People are always talking about it.”
…In 2011, traffic deaths reached a nearly 50-year low, and this year’s total probably still falls below that of 2010, which saw 1,032 fatalities, Donnals said.
TDOT Commissioner John Schroer decided to erect the signs in April after seeing a spike in deaths through the first three months of the year.
From January through March, there were 64 more traffic deaths than during the same three months in 2011. But from April through November, there were just three more deaths than during the corresponding period in 2011.

TN Civil War Era Newspapers Going Online

From the News Sentinel:W.B. Oakley, a 17-year-old private from Alabama, was captured by Union forces at the First Battle of Manassas, bound at his hands and feet and left on the battlefield.
His story and the stories of so many others, long forgotten with the passing of generations, once again can be appreciated thanks to a project to digitize thousands of pages of historic Tennessee newspapers.
“Young Alabama, however, was possessed of too much Anglo Saxon elasticity to occupy his recumbent attitude in idleness, and setting to work with a good pair of jaws, he soon gnawed apart the fine rope which bound his hands,” reads the 150-year-old account of the soldier’s experience.
He obtained a musket “from the side of a dead man” and began the return to his regiment, killing an enemy soldier and capturing a federal colonel along the way.
The account of Oakley’s exploits in the Aug. 9, 1861, issue of the Memphis Daily Appeal now is only a few mouse clicks away from anyone with a curiosity for history.
It is among more than 100,000 pages of Tennessee newspapers to be digitized and made available online through a $325,165 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities for the Tennessee Digital Newspaper Project, an effort of the University of Tennessee and the Tennessee State Library and Archives.
Issues of the Memphis Daily Appeal from 1857 to 1872 are the first from the Tennessee Digital Newspaper Project to be added to the Library of Congress’ Chronicling America website, http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov.
Other Tennessee newspapers that will be added include Brownlow’s Knoxville Whig, the Nashville Union and American, the Chattanooga Daily Rebel, the Athens Post and the Clarksville Weekly Chronicle.
When complete, the Chronicling America project will include digitized, searchable historic issues of newspapers from throughout the country. Nearly 4 million pages already are available online.
“It’s like a window in history. We can see right in there to how things were happening at that time,” said Louisa Trott, the project coordinator at the University of Tennessee.