MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- The Tennessee Highway Patrol is cracking down on drivers who don’t move over for emergency vehicles and T-DOT help trucks on the side of the road.
The THP said in 2016 three TDOT workers were killed after drivers failed to give extra room to crews working on the interstate.
Late Tuesday afternoon, a THP spokesperson said 81 people were cited for failing to move over on Memphis interstates throughout the day as part of Operation S.T.A.R. or Saving Troopers and Responders.
Citing drivers wasn’t something they wanted to do, but the goal was to raise awareness about the importance of giving emergency crews room.
“What we’re targeting is those drivers who fail to move over for emergency personnel," said THP Lieutenant Cary Hopkins.
Lt. Hopkins said it’s the law to move over if you see any emergency personnel on the side of the road with flashing lights. If you can’t move over, you have to at least slow down.
It’s been that way since 2006.
Wednesday was a reminder for drivers.
Troopers were posted near TDOT Help Trucks starting at 6 a.m. If they spotted a driver that didn’t move over or slow down, the driver soon saw the flashing lights in their review mirror.
"We have not really stepped up this kind of enforcement in quite awhile so this is kind of eye opening maybe to some of the people traveling through Memphis today," explained Lt. Hopkins.
Drivers WREG's Shay Arthur talked to were glad to see the THP out reminding drivers.
"I see people riding right along the side, guys standing along the side of the road. Yeah it’s definitely a good idea," said driver Rusty Gregg.
A good idea that Lt. Hopkins wants people to think about next time you’re driving. He wants people to imagine it’s your loved one out working on the interstate.
"It’s kind of common courtesy. If you or a family member had a flat on the side of the road would you not want people to yield?”
Besides failing to move over, multiple people were cited for other things like texting and driving, not wearing a seat belt or driving with an expired licenses.