Drivers Race Toward New Record For Driving More Than 100 MPH

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(Millington)  Mid-South drivers are racing toward a new record.

People more than ever are reaching speeds more than 100 miles per hour, many in 55 mph zones.

In 30 years on the job, Tennessee Highway Patrol Lt. Cary Hopkins has heard about every excuse for people making highways into their raceways.

“People have to go to the restroom, they are going to the hospital, they are sick, late to work,” he said.

But he said there's no excuse for driving more than 100 miles per hour.

“I usually ask the question is there any legal justification why you are running this fast in this mile per hour zone and there’s really not,” he said.

Drivers in the Memphis area are on pace to hit a three-year high for speeding tickets more than 100 miles an hour.

Interstates 40 and 240 and Highway 385 are the most common for drivers to turn into their autobahn.

The fastest time clocked in Memphis is 120 miles per hour.

Drivers going too fast were also too furious when we showed up to their home.

Nobody wanted to talk on camera, but speeder Nakita Thompson explained why she was clocked going 100 in a 65 mile an hour zone. She was rushing to the hospital.

Excuse number two on Lt. Hopkins list.

"It wasn't a big deal that I got the ticket because I knew that I was going over the speed limit. I  knew I was in the wrong,” she said.

Jheramy Justice was clocked going 104 on Interstate 40 in Memphis.

He wasn’t home, but his little cousin was who says he likes to drive “as fast as he can.”

He said he also drives a fast car.

But officers don't just find sports cars hitting triple-digits. It's usually everyday cars.

Drivers in Impalas, Mustangs, Camrys and Altimas were ticketed the most by the Tennessee Highway Patrol for topping a hundred since 2010.

In the that same time frame, troopers ticketed 166 drivers for racing more than one hundred miles an hour in Western Tennessee.

Thirty-four of them were going faster than 110.

“It’s aggravating because it's a safety concern for me as well. Trying to catch somebody going that fast you have to run faster to catch him so it's a big safety concern for us,” Hopkins said.

Seventy-five percent of the tickets were written on I-40. Three in Lauderdale County, 11 in Shelby and Dyer counties, 13 in Hardeman, and 32 in Fayette.

The highest number is 94 in Haywood County.

“We’re looking at those numbers and hopefully with the holiday coming on, we are going to concentrate on that more put more troopers on the road so we are gearing up,” he said.

Gearing up to prevent potential tragedy.

“You just need to slow it down,” he said.

It's a deadly cycle.

Speeding contributes to about a third of all fatal crashes.

So far, close to 900 people have died in crashes in Tennessee.


    • Free Thinker

      I have multiple videos of police going over 80 mph on 385 headed towards Millington (via a dash can). If someone from WREG wants copies, reply to this message.

  • Drew Honnoll

    I am of the belief, that once someone reaches tripple digits or more than 2x the posted limit, spike strips are perfectly justified without warning. Seems to me that in that situation someone ahead could be radioed and use them. I personally believe once you cross that threshold its justified. If you are racing to the hospital hey a helicopter or ambulance is faster/safer and you have EMT’s right there.

  • Nonya Bidness

    What’s the big deal? I drove on the autobahn last year and was doing 105mph and a sports car passed me doing well in excess of 150! No one was dying on the road. The problem in the USA is that we let anyone with a pulse get behind the wheel.

    I am actively pushing city council to pass an ordinance to impound cars of drivers not having a license, registration or insurance. This will take a lot of the unprofessional drivers off the streets (because they can’t afford to get their car back from impound) and add a new revenue stream to fund our non-MCS school system.

  • Buckwheat

    Ask AC Warthog to BAN cell phones and texting in Shelby County, the biggest accidents I have seen were caused by Shaniqua on her GO FOWN.

  • Chad

    “Interstates 40 and 240 and Highway 385 are the most common for drivers to turn into their autobahn.”

    The most common because they are the only ones.

    The reason speeds are so excessive is because while the speed limit may be 55 everyone is doing at least 70 so when someone gets in the left lane and speeds up to pass they are the ones getting caught doing 75+. Automobiles are more than capable doing higher rates of speed safely these days, but like someone else said any idiot with a pulse gets a license these days.

    Of course all of this can’t be blamed on the drivers. This research is probably done on tickets written by the pd. I got a ticket a few months back for doing 24 over all because I drive a sports car and the ticketing officer wants his fat x-mas bonus so he decided he needed to ruin my day. I was going faster than the posted speed limit, but so was everyone else. I was just keeping up with the flow of traffic.

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