TN Road Deaths Hit 1000

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(Memphis) - A devastating and deadly year on Tennessee roads and highways.

The number of people killed is surging past 2011's total.

  Tennessee Department of Transportation reported 1000 people have died from fatal vehicle accidents Friday on their lit up road sign.

We all watched the number on highway signs tick up.

"It scares the heck out of me because every time I see it it's moving up," State Rep. G.A. Hardaway said.

The TDOT wanted to have fewer than 900 fatalities this year, but that didn't happen.

"It's always disappointing when it involves loss of life," Hardaway said.

Rep. Hardaway suggests more officers on the roads.

"If we could put more personnel on the streets and pay them better I think we would deter some of the crazy behavior behind the wheel," he said.

He says just having an extra officer  on the street slows you down.

"No one passes a state trooper so it's effective.  It's not high-tech not requiring fancy legislation. Those types of things the department can do if we give them more money for personnel," he said.

Professional truck driver Buck Clements agrees speeding is a big problem.

"I think it's speeding. I go to Nashville and all around and people don't pay attention to what they are doing," Clements said.

Which brings up another factor Hardaway wants addressed, distracted driving. He  expects lawmakers to consider forcing you to use hand free devices-- like blue tooths.
In the meantime, he says, "we have to wait for the art of common sense to catch up with the science of technology."

While the number of fatal crashes appears high this year taking a look at the past reports.
This year is still far better than what the state saw about a decade ago. In 2004 there were 1200 fatalities on these Tennessee roadways.