THP teaming up with other states to keep I-75 safe this weekend

THP teaming up with 5 other states to keep I-75 safe this weekend

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By STEPHANIE BEECKEN
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - The Tennessee Highway Patrol and law enforcement in five other states are teaming up this weekend to in an effort to keep Interstate 75, one of the country's major interstates, safe and fatality free.

Tennessee, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Ohio and Michigan are taking part in an intensified enforcement effort from March 28 to 30 called "Staying Alive on I-75." It's part of a nationwide initiative to reduce traffic fatalities in the United States by 15 percent this year.

The enforcement starts at 12:01 a.m. Friday and runs through midnight Sunday.

Officials say the entire 1,786 miles of I-75 will be covered under the enforcement action.

During the three day period, law enforcement will have an increase presence on I-75, focusing on distracted driving. Troopers will also be checking for aggressive drivers, speeders, seatbelt use, and commercial vehicle safety.

Officials say this is the first time these six states have teamed up to make sure multi-state travelers have consistent enforcement on I-75.

Corinthians Smith is driving to Georgia. She says traffic's been heavy on I-75 but most cars are obeying the rules of the road.

"Some of them passed by so I guess they were speeding but it wasn't too bad today there were a lot of enforcement out," said Smith.

"We want to save lives. We want you to slow down. We want you to obey the law. Wear your seatbelt and drive responsibly," said THP Lt. Don Boshears.

Michael McGill, who travels on I-75, believes the intensified enforcement is a good idea.

"If they are violating traffic laws then yeah they should be pulled over because people have a right to be safe," said McGill.

Law enforcement officials will be looking for drivers speeding and not wearing a seat belt.

"Fifty to 60 percent of the fatalities that did occur was unrestrained and by simply clicking that seat belt, it takes two to three seconds to click it, you automatically increase your chances of surviving or not sustaining a life altering injury by 50 percent," said Lt. Boshears.

THP will also pull drivers over for driving impaired or distracted driving. Officers say texting and driving takes your eyes off the road, hand off the wheel and focus away from driving. McGill agrees texting and driving can be deadly.

"People don't realize that you're driving pretty much a guided metal missile on the road and you're going 65, 70 miles per hour, and if you're texting, you're not paying attention and you could slam into somebody. You're not going to survive that impact," said McGill.

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