MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Local and state officials are spending the summer months working to keep roads safer after 34 reported highway shootings so far in 2019.
Officers can be seen at almost every exit. They’re waiting and watching for the next driver who’s not obeying the rules of the road.
“It’s kind of startling to see a lot of police officers all over the place. Once you see one on the side of the road, you see one passing behind you,” a resident said.
Earlier this summer, Memphis police started operation safe travels to crack down on reckless drivers. Since then, they say they’ve made nearly 19,000 traffic stops, written more than 11,000 tickets and arrested nearly 400 people.
“There’s a lot of people that driver very carelessly in this town,” a resident said.
In July 2019, the Tennessee Highway Patrol stepped in with Operation Grizzly Bear, a multi-agency attempt to decrease road rage shootings.
“When we started, we had 32 in the Shelby County and Memphis-area along the loop. Now we’re at 34,” Sargent Chris Richardson said.
He says they’re efforts have been successful, but there’s still work to be done. Despite how many operations law enforcement puts into place, Richardson says it’s ultimately up to the driver to do their part.