Knoxville (WVLT) - If you plan to hit the road this Memorial Day holiday, you'll have to share the blacktop with more than 38 million of your closest friends. That's how many people AAA says will drive the nation's highways.
As Volunteer TV's Mike McCarthy tells us, law enforcement officers have their eyes and radar guns ready.
The Knox County Sheriff's Office says they always enforce the law, but I spent just a few hours on the road with them and saw three motorists pulled over in less than two miles.
So deputies, Highway Patrol troopers, and Knoxville Police officers are out this weekend, but they say they're not out to get you. They're out to help you.
It's bumpy start for the Sanchez family's Memorial Day weekend.
"The tire just went crazy and we had to pull over," Pamola Sanchez said.
At more than 50 miles and hour, the traffic just feet away scared her.
That is, until Deputy Chris Olson, arrived.
"It made me feel a lot safer because I knew he couldn't let anything happen and let us get through the problem," Sanchez said.
Behind the wheel of his cruiser, that's why Olson says officers take this weekend so seriously.
"Our job is to help these people protect themselves and part of that's through enforcements," Olson said.
And that means.
"Looking for erratic drivers, looking for drivers not wearing seat belts, unsafe drivers and drunk drivers," Olson said.
Not wearing her seat belt gave this driver some one-on-one time with Deputy Olson. She just got a warning.
"All of our families are out here on the streets this weekend, and nobody wants to see their family get hurt," Olson said.
That means a ticket, if needed.
"Part of our job in assisting them and protecting them is keeping traffic incidents down through enforcement," Olson said.
And Olson has a helping hand, or should I say paw. Meet his partner Cezar.
"His job is to basically back me up and to assist me in dealing with people who don't want to cooperate," Olson said.
Both ready for whatever comes this weekend. Both ready to help.
"That's really why most people get into this job, to get out and help people," Olson said.
Exactly what Sanchez says he did for her family.
"They're doing their job. But they actually do help make things safer," Sanchez said.
And that's the goal for this holiday weekend. Deputy Oslon asks if you see you any officer pulled over the side of the road, please slow down and change lanes. That way, he and his fellow deputies can have a safe place to keep you safe.
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