• Mixed reviews about Operation Grizzly Bear bringing extra law enforcement to the interstate

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    SHELBY COUNTY, Tenn. - FOX13 has uncovered new information about Operation Grizzly Bear. The beefed-up law enforcement presence cut down aggressive driving and road rage in the area.

    When it comes to accidents and fatal crashes, Grizzly Bear is getting mixed reviews.

    It might explain why the number of crashes has not dropped but increased despite seeing a patrol car almost every mile or two.

    A spokesman for the TN Highway Patrol told us Grizzly bear was going to cut down on crime and make people obey the laws of the road.

    Motorist Joshua Smith told FOX13 he drives the interstate to run errands and can’t help but notice the increase in law enforcement presence.

    “I go to church in North Memphis and stay in East. So, when I’m driving I pass at least six,” Smith explained.

    The very visible law enforcement presence on the interstate is Operation Grizzly Bear, started by the TN Highway Patrol in July to cut down aggressive driving and violent road rage.

    While the operation reduced violent aggressive driving, it is not reducing the number of crashes and fatal accidents.

    Data from THP for Operation Grizzly bear started August 23. We compared the records over the same period for the last three years.

    After comparing, we noticed the operation did not have an impact on fatal accidents.


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    The extra law enforcement presence has reduced the number of accidents with injuries, but the number of crashes has gone up.

    THP told us the operation is working because fatalities have not increased and the number of accidents with injuries has gone down. That’s a plus for them.

    Numbers of accidents are increasing, the THP said it could be careless driving.

    It would be an unexpected benefit to the THP if Operation Grizzly Bear reduced the number of crashes and fatalities.

    THP would be reviewing the data to see if it better identify the causes for fatalities and accidents.

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