The Tennessee Highway Safety Office (THSO) is a division of the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security that advocates for traffic safety.
THSO works in tandem with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to implement statewide programs addressing occupant protection, impaired driving, speed enforcement, pedestrian and bicycle safety, and crash data collection and analysis. Programs administered by THSO are 100 percent federally funded. THSO’s mission is to reduce Tennessee traffic fatalities as part of the nation’s vision Toward Zero Deaths. THSO works to achieve this goal by changing driver behavior through increased education, enforcement, and community partnerships.
Established by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in 1998, the Law Enforcement Liaisons (LEL) program is a network of more than 396 Tennessee law enforcement agencies. LELs lead monthly meeting in their regions and may attend and facilitate quarterly regional meetings. LEL created a program to provide highway safety training for law enforcement personnel, and since 2009 more than 10,000 personnel have attended this program. LEL conducts the National and State Law Enforcement Challenge Program that showcases agencies’ efforts in highway safety related activities. Participating agencies submit portfolios that are judged by other states and then sent to the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) for final selection of winners.
The role of Judicial Outreach Liaison (JOL) is to provide education, training, and technical assistance to judges and court staff throughout the state. Whether the topic is DUI, DRL, DSL, or traffic-related subjects, the Judicial Outreach Liaison supports both judges and court personnel.
The SAFE program recognizes agencies for their occupant protection enforcement efforts to increase the rate of seatbelt use in Tennessee. The program began in the spring of 2014 and indications are that the project has improved seatbelt usage.
Seat Belt Survey
CTR staff assists THSO with the planning and execution of local and statewide media programs to help make Tennessee's citizens aware of driver safety issues. Additionally, CTR annually conducts research on statewide seat belt use through an observational seat belt use survey and an attitudes and perceptions telephone survey.
THSO Grant Orientation Workshop
The Grant Orientation Workshop teaches grant awarded agencies the regulations and processes for managing grants awarded by THSO.