TUPELO, MS: The National Park Service (NPS) Traffic Safety Coalition recognized Mary Risser as the 2017 Superintendent of the Year. Each year the Traffic Safety Coalition searches out superintendents who have made a positive impact on the safety of our employees and visitors, particularly in the area of highway safety.
“We are faced with the stark reality that 95% of motor vehicle collisions (MVC) on the Natchez Trace Parkway (Parkway) are caused by our neighbors – people who live in the communities adjacent to the Parkway. They use the Parkway to commute or as the easiest route somewhere,” stated Risser. “This is reflected in four common denominators of MVCs: speeding, being under the influence, not wearing seat belts, and not having a driver’s license, insurance, etc.”
Parkway staff continues to remind our neighbors that the Natchez Trace Parkway is a Parkway – not an interstate! Rangers are on pace to write over 8,000 traffic tickets this year and have already made over 1700 traffic stops in the first 7 weeks of the year. They have also made 21 arrests, mostly for driving under the influence or driving without a valid license.
“Rangers are employing a variety of techniques to reduce motorists’ speed on the Parkway, including running saturation patrols, patrolling with unmarked vehicles, and targeting aggressive drivers,“ continued Risser. “The Parkway is also conducting various studies to learn where collisions and fatalities are most common on the Parkway and researching ways to make these areas safer. Our top priority is to enhance the safety for all Parkway users.”
Remember, you have a National Park in your own backyard. Treat it as a Parkway – not an Interstate highway.