Dramatic increases of drivers committing road rage and aggressive driving on Interstate 24 prompted “Operation Fall Brakes,” an enforcement and education effort to curb these behaviors in Rutherford County.
Sheriff Mike Fitzhugh said “Operation Fall Brakes” is a combined effort to make it safer on Rutherford County roads for all concerned. “To date we have had 8,374 collisions with 2,832 injuries and 27 fatalities” in Rutherford County, Fitzhugh said. “We have to do everything possible to reverse this trend.”
Sheriff’s Sgt. Sean Vinson said deputies in conjunction with the Tennessee Highway Safety Office and Tennessee Highway Patrol troopers will saturate I-24 between 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 19 and curb drivers who are driving aggressively “Aggressive driving occurs every day in our county,” Vinson said. “We’re going to be out in force to curtail the aggressive driving. We want people to slow down, drive responsibly and be respectful of others on the roadways. “When we see the aggressive driving, we will pull the driver over and educate the driver to the dangers of aggressive driving through a conversation or possibly a citation for the offense,” Vinson said.
The officers will focus not just on aggressive drivers but the offenses that tend to lead to aggressive driving to occur such as distracted driving, speed, illegal lane changes and impaired driving from alcohol and drug or inhalants use. THP Lt. Scott Pollard said, “Our goal is to make it safer for the motoring public traveling on I-24. “This will influence the driving habits in a positive manner.” THP will provide additional troopers, a helicopter and troopers driving motorcycles. Patrol deputies will work overtime paid by THSO grant funds.
Murfreesboro Police Lt. Greg Walker said officers will support the operation by concentrating on aggressive drivers near Interstate 840 and Veterans Parkway in the city. Deputies from the Strategies and Tactics for Opioid Prevention program will respond to drug-relating driving offenses.
“This will be a recurring event until we see a positive change in the driving behavior on the interstate,” Vinson said.
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