Forty-four people lost their lives in traffic crashes last year with three of those deaths occurring on U.S. Highway 41/70S that connects three cities through Rutherford County.
Those fatalities and more than 300 crashes this year on the highway prompted law enforcement officers to promote traffic safety during a "Blue 41" blitz from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Friday on the highway through Rutherford County from the Coffee County to Davidson County lines.
Law Enforcement Liaison Tony Burnett of the Tennessee Highway Safety Office coordinated with sheriff's deputies, police officers from Murfreesboro, Smyrna and La Vergne and the Tennessee Highway Patrol to promote traffic safety on the highway during Friday's blitz.
Drivers also know Highway 41/70 as known as Manchester Highway, Broad Street in Murfreesboro, Lowry Street in Smyrna and Murfreesboro Highway in La Vergne.
Patrol Major Steve Spence said fatalities and crashes prompted officers to emphasize safety on the heavily traveled highway on Mother's Day weekend.
"This event is more of an awareness rather than enforcement in an attempt to slow motorists
down," Spence said. "Distracted driving and speed are some of the leading factors in fatalities. We are trying to get people to slow down and not text and drive."
Sheriff's Cpl. Mark Mack said deputies will watch for hazardous driving offenses such as speeding, texting, failing to wear seat belts and driving after drinking or taking drugs on the stretch of Manchester Highway from the Murfreesboro city limits to the Coffee County line.
"Absolutely, do not get behind the wheel if you are impaired from alcohol and/or drugs," Mack said. "We're serious about saving lives in Rutherford County and lowering our tragic fatality rate."
Drivers should slow down and not drive distracted or impaired, he said.
"With Mother's Day being celebrated Sunday, we wish all families will be able to share that special day," Mack said. "Please drive safely."