Local law enforcement join forces to make roads & interstates safer

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Memphis Police Chief CJ Davis said reckless driving in Shelby County is out of control.

“We must bring all resources available to address the lawlessness and these brazen violent acts and attacks that threat innocent motorists commuting throughout our jurisdiction,” Davis said.

According to MPD and the Tennessee Highway Patrol, interstate shootings are up, and more people are dying in crashes.

“As a commuter out of uniform, I have experienced it and it’s alarming,” Davis said. “It’s scary to individuals who are not trying to navigate the roads. We really feel that it’s important for us to do something about it.”

The something is the “Slow Down Memphis” campaign, backed by MPD, the Shelby County Sherriff’s Office and Tennessee Highway Patrol.

What does this mean?

MPD said each precinct will be asked to use more manpower, with specialized units, the sheriff’s office and highway patrol helping.

According to THP, crash fatalities are up 20 percent. There’s been 133 so far in 2021 compared to 112 this time last year.

MPD said there have been 77 interstate shootings this year with 16 ending up with someone being shot.

Shelby County Sheriff Floyd Bonner said he’s aware of the dangers out there, including a rise in drag racing.

“Our citizens are not feeling safe and we are going to work extremely hard,” Bonner said. “We’re doubling down to get all of our citizens to feel safe as they drive or cross the roadways.”

Davis said there are things drivers can do to help in this effort.

“When you see individuals driving recklessly the best thing to do is to move over, distance yourself,” she said. “Pretend as if there were blue lights behind you.”