Tennessee, 4 other states crack down on speeders - WSMV News 4

Tennessee, 4 other states crack down on speeders

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(WSMV file photo) (WSMV file photo)

A federal program is allotting money to four Southeastern states to put more law enforcement on the roads to crack down on speeding drivers.

It's called operation Southern Shield. For one week, Tennessee, Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama and Florida will mobilize law enforcement to make sure drivers keep within the posted speed limit.

Operation Southern Shield is a one-week pilot program that began on Monday and runs through Sunday, specifically focusing on drivers with a heavy foot on the gas pedal.

The national Highway Traffic Safety Administration is kicking in federal dollars to pay for the extra manpower on the roads and interstates.

It's no coincidence that mid-July was chosen for Southern Shield. It’s a heavy vacation travel period when the rate of fatal crashes are highest.

A spokesman for The Tennessee Highway Patrol said you have two choices: slow down or law enforcement will do it for you.

"We're wanting drivers to simply voluntarily slow down on their own and gauge their speed. We are taking an aggressive stance toward speed enforcement," Lt. Bill Miller said.

The time of day more patrols will be out enforcing speed limits will vary.

"The district captains will look at their manpower and see what time of day that crashes are occurring more often than others, then adjust their schedules to make sure troopers are out in force during the appropriate times," Miller said.

If you are pulled over, the blue lights in your rearview mirror won't necessarily be a Tennessee Highway Patrol car.

"Any law enforcement jurisdiction that has an interstate running through their patrol area can come and enforce and support this initiative," Miller said.

According to the Tennessee Highway Patrol, exceeding the speed limit by 10 mph increases your chances of being in a crash. It also increases your chances of getting pulled over. 

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