MEMPHIS, Tenn.– The Tennessee Highway Patrol is on the lookout for speeders. You have probably noticed more state troopers out on the roads, and they won’t go away anytime soon.
Lieutenant Ashley McCarver said she sees drivers speeding on the interstate every day.
“You can not get on the interstate for more than three-four miles without having somebody coming by you going 90 miles per hour,” she said.
That’s why beginning in mid-September, the Tennessee Highway Patrol made the call for added patrols out on the roads, especially on highways like I-240.
“It’s like a new normal we want to change. We want to take that away from being a normal in Shelby County,” McCarver said. “We don’t need the Chargers and the Challengers and the Altimas going 100+. I mean we had one the other day going 117mph on 240.”
Just last week, Wynton Leigh, 22, was charged with evading arrest and reckless driving. According to court records, he was speeding and weaving through traffic on I-240 near Quince Road when an officer tried to pull him over.
A decal on his windshield read “901 Speeddemons”
Social media pages for the group show vehicles performing donuts and other stunts, which Lt. McCarver says isn’t safe to do on the road.
“I mean we have huge parking lots in Memphis, all over the place, where they can meet up and have a good time,” McCarver said.
We have seen 1,018 traffic deaths statewide so far this year. It’s already surpassing what we saw in 2020 when the pandemic shut down the city.
“I really think it started with COVID, whenever nobody was on the road and you had open areas that were three-four miles long and these cars could go 120 mph and not have any obstacle,” McCarver said.
The number of traffic fatalities doubled on I-240 last year in Shelby County compared to the year before. Right now, McCarver says THP is only working to add more patrols until they can successfully decrease the number of fatalities.