Operation Southern Slowdown aims to curb speed-related crashes in Tennessee

Published: Jul. 18, 2022 at 7:51 AM CDT
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - This month is a popular time for summer travel and the Tennessee Highway Safety Office is warning you to slow down or get pulled over.

Moving forward, more officers will be watching for people speeding along interstates and state highways.

Over the past two years, law enforcement agencies in the southeast, and across the nation, have seen an uptick of drivers going 100 miles per hour.

Operation Southern Slowdown is also going on right now in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina as people travel for summer vacation.

“Many people are going through Tennessee…we’ve had a big boom in population, especially in middle Tennessee,” explained Lori Bullard of the Tennessee Highway Safety Office. “We have people moving from different states and once they get to the little cities and big cities of middle Tennessee, they bring bad habits.”

In 2020, more than 1,100 people killed in fatal crashes here in Tennessee. Safety experts say those deaths could have been avoided if more people just slowed down.

Bullard said between 2017 and 2020, this crackdown on speeding has saved hundreds of people from being hurt or killed in a car crash.

“Speeding doesn’t just affect the person who is speeding. it affects everyone,” said Bullard. “It affects the people who are driving around them, it affects pedestrians, people on motorcycles, bicyclists.”

The THSO reports you are three times more likely to be in a serious car crash if you are speeding.

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