MARCH 25, 2017
SHERIFF’S OFFICE OFFERS A FRIENDLY REMINDER ABOUT DRAGON AWARENESS
MARYVILLE, TENNESSEE – Spring and beautiful weather have arrived, and with it, the section of U.S. Highway 129 known as “The Dragon” is seeing an increase in motorists. “The Dragon” is a popular stretch of roadway popular with motorcyclists and car club enthusiasts because of its breathtaking beauty and its 11.1 mile stretch of 318 curves. The Blount County Sheriff’s Office is dedicated to keeping those who drive “The Dragon” safe. During the spring, summer, and early fall months, the BCSO maintains a presence on “The Dragon” with the intent of keeping crashes to a minimum. The following are some tips to keep YOU and those you share the road with safe:
MAKE SURE YOUR VEHICLE IS WELL MAINTAINED — gas, tire pressure, etc. This area very remote and there is NO cell phone service on “The Dragon.”
BE RESPECTFUL OF THE RESIDENTS WHO LIVE THERE. Drive by their home the way you’d want someone to drive by your home.
SLOW DOWN — The speed limit on “The Dragon” section of U.S. Highway 129 is 30 miles per hour. Remember not only your limitations on your capabilities, but also that of your vehicle.
STAY IN YOUR LANE — Stay on the right side of your line as much as possible. Many crashes are caused by vehicles crossing the center line or when two vehicles are crowding the center line when they meet.
DO NOT SIGHT-SEE WHILE YOU DRIVE — There are many pull-offs on that stretch of roadway. Even with the 30 mph speed limit, curves come upon you very quickly.
KEEP YOUR EYES ON THE ROAD — Roadway hazards can appear quickly and unexpectedly. This area is remote and wooded, and trees, tree limbs and branches, rock slides, animals, gravel, and mud thrown on the roadway are all hazards you could encounter.
STAY OFF THE LINES — The yellow and white lines can become slick when wet or covered in leaves.
BE AWARE OF OTHERS — This is a well-traveled roadway, especially as tourist season picks up. Watch for vehicles approaching from behind. If you are slowing down traffic use the next paved pull-off on your side of the road to allow the faster traffic to pass.
DRIVE BELOW YOUR LIMITS — NEVER try to drive at 100% of your capabilities. Allow room for unexpected hazards and adjustments in driving conditions.
USE YOUR SIGNALS — Use your turn signals in plenty of time to pull off the roadway. This allows for the traffic behind you to prepare for your next move.
THIS IS NOT A RACE COURSE — This is a public roadway and all laws that apply on other roadways apply on “The Dragon.” The rumors are NOT true — there has never been, nor are there any plans to close the road for racing.
OUT OF AREA RIDERS — Simple fact: Almost all of the serious injuries and deaths that occur here are from out of state where the roads are straight and flat. Take your time and use extra caution.
We are dedicated to saving lives, and the concentrated patrols we have provided on “The Dragon” over the years have helped. But we need YOUR help and cooperation to keep “The Dragon” safe for everyone.
For additional safety tips, statistics, state laws, and other information related to “The Dragon,” please visit our Dragon information website at www.dragonawareness.com.