MPD increasing interstate presence to help curb speeding

If you have noticed an increased amount of police officers running radar checks on interstates in Memphis, there is a reason why.

FOX13 learned it is part of a directive put in place by Interim Memphis Police Director Michael Rallings.

Drive down any interstate in Memphis, and you're sure to notice the increased police presence.

“When I get onto Sam Cooper, I see one right before it turns into the freeway. And then there's another cop before the construction starts. And then there's another one right after construction ends,” driver Jamie Hanskiewicz told FOX13.

The emphasis of officers is being applied on I-40, I-240, Highway 385, I-55 and Sam Cooper. It is being done with the long-term intention of encouraging people to drive at slower speeds.

“For the most part, you can regulate the behavior of the citizens by enforcement,” Colonel Patricia Burnett told FOX13.

The problem, right now, is many think the posted speed limits are too low in the first place.

“Nobody really goes 55,” Keeva Taylor said. “Everybody is used to going like 70.”

In January of 2015, MPD 4,715 speeding tickets within the city. In the first month of 2016, officers issued 3,588 speeding tickets.

That's more than 1,100 fewer this year, at least so far.

Numbers aside, FOX13 wanted to put the posted speed limits to the test.

We maintained whatever speed was posted in a given area, while driving in a normal flow of traffic. Very few drivers did not pass us.

That begs the question, should the limit be raised, or should drivers ease of the gas pedal?

“Start going 55 I guess,” Hanskiewicz told FOX13.