Safety isn’t always the most exciting Trace topic, but without it we wouldn’t have such a peaceful and serene trail to explore. Every year, thousands of bicyclists, walkers, joggers, and motorists can take in the views and enjoy the southern charm of the place with plenty of peace of mind. That’s thanks to careful folks like you and countless others that work hard to the Parkway safe for all of us.
In fact, two of those wonderful people were awarded for their efforts on December 4, 2015. United States Attorney Robert Mims from Oxford, MS and National Park Service Supervisory Park Ranger John Hearne from the Natchez Trace Parkway each received a national level award from the National Park Service Traffic Safety Coalition. Congratulations, guys!
U.S. Attorney Mims received the Prosecutor of the Year Award for his continued support and efforts to prosecute those who drive under the influence on the Natchez Trace Parkway. Mims successfully prosecuted a number of significant cases including a recent prosecution of an impaired driver who crossed the center line on a curve, struck a motorcycle, and killed both of its riders. These are the sorts of tragedies that are rare on the Trace, and we are very thankful for Mims’s hard work at preventing future incidents.
As for Ranger Hearne, he received a Special Recognition Award for his commitment to traffic safety and his efforts to reduce impaired driving on the Natchez Trace Parkway. As the Central District Supervisory Ranger, Hearne scheduled numerous traffic safety checkpoints and served as the investigating ranger for several motor vehicle accidents that resulted in death or injury due to an impaired driver. Hats off to Ranger Hearne for keeping an eye out for all of us.
During these colder months, it’s not just holiday revelers that need to be careful. The winter will be sure to bring possibilities of snow and slush on roadways and ice on paved areas, especially bridges. Keep a lookout for our furry friends too as some animals, particularly deer, tend to be more active and less wary in their travels this time of year.
As the holiday season is just around that next curve, we encourage all of our Trace friends to keep your eyes on the road and your thoughts on safety. We are all in this together, so let’s keep the Natchez Trace safe and enjoyable for everyone! If you’re planning to enjoy the scenic byway soon, we encourage you to take a quick look into a new safety program: Share the Parkway.
If you have any questions, please call our friends over at the Natchez Trace Parkway Visitor Center at 662-680-4027. And if you ever suspect you may have spotted an impaired driver or any other emergency during your travels, please do contact the authorities by calling 911 or 1-800-600-PARK(7275).