Santa's helpers will deliver a sweet message to high school students about safe driving especially during the holidays when they distribute candy and traffic safety materials after school Dec. 16.
Rutherford County Traffic Safety Task Force officers will give the students candy and literature about the importance of not texting or holding phones while driving and clicking on seat belts, said Sheriff's Sgt. Michael Rodgers.
Deputy William Travis suggested the Santa's helpers program to keep students aware of safe driving habits.
"During the month of December, task force members will be out to make sure loved ones are safe," Rodgers said. "Of all the different times of year to be home and safe, this is the most important time of the year to be with family."
THP Lt. Jon Officer said 31 people died from traffic crashes at this time last year in Rutherford County as compared to the 25 lives lost this year.
The task force's efforts are designed to prevent traffic deaths and serious injuries from crashes through the end of the year.
Cpl. George Barrett suggested the Sleighing Speed program where teams of sheriff's deputies and Tennessee Highway Patrol troopers are enforcing speeding laws Dec. 5, 9, 11, 18, 20 and 23 on U.S. Highway 231 South (Shelbyville Highway) where several fatalities and other serious crashes occurred.
Troopers will use laser speed devices to monitor speeding drivers and deputies will make traffic stops.
Also, deputies will use Tennessee Highway Safety Office grant funds to work overtime enforcing laws about drivers under the influence of alcohol.
Officer said drivers can get distracted during the heavy traffic during the holiday season.
"We want folks to pay more attention when driving," Officer said. "We want everyone to have a merry Christmas."