MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Tennessee Highway Patrol is out in full force and making an effort to increase its presence in Memphis and Shelby County.
So far this year, 55 people have been killed in crashes on Shelby County roads. Last year, 246 people were killed.
In an effort to make the county safer, THP is boosting its presence by adding additional troopers to the area.
“We’re really just trying to cut down on our distracted drivers and fatalities and make the roadways safer,” said Trooper Devonte Quinn.
Governor Bill Lee is requesting another 100 new trooper positions across the state in the upcoming budget. Tuesday, we got an exclusive look at how they plan to protect people on the road.
“We normally try to map out where we’re seeing the most crashes and even in high crime areas, we try to assist MPD,” Quinn said.
He said troopers typically cruise hot spots along I-40 & I-240 and keep an eye out for reckless and distracted drivers.
We saw a trooper pull someone over for expired tags. A common sight in the Bluff City. They were given a warning for the tags and not having insurance and issued a citation for a seatbelt violation.
Minutes later, another driver was cited for violating hands-free law.
Troopers are also focused on speeders.
“Fastest I’ve had someone stop is 130 miles per hour and the guy was on his phone traveling to Memphis,” Quinn said. “That shouldn’t be tolerated on the interstate he’s not only a hazard to himself but he’s a hazard to everyone that’s on the interstate at that point.”
With interstate shootings being a top concern for many, Trooper Quinn said many residents are already reporting they feel safer with more law enforcement patrolling.
“Citizens see us out when they are out and they are noticing crime is trying to change a little bit,” he said.
Last year, the state increased the trooper pay scale by four percent as an incentive. The THP is currently hiring statewide. You can find more information here.