THP Turns Up the Heat on Drivers

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Interstate 40/75, Knoxville (WVLT) - The Tennessee Highway Patrol is turning up the heat on the roadways this summer with a new summer traffic enforcement campaign called "100 Days of Summer Heat".

Volunteer TV’s Kim Bedford rode along with one THP trooper and finds out how, if you get caught you're going to get burned.

"THP is actively seeking impaired drivers, aggressive drivers, looking for safety belt violations,” THP Trooper Jim Dalton says summer time is their busiest season on the highway. "They'll get out and of course, they've been cooped up all winter long. They're ready to hit the road."

So THP is hitting the road along with them. "We'll look for safety belts not being on. We'll look for people exceeding the posted speed limit, people weaving, certain indicators of DUI."

Less than five minutes on I-40, "Running 83 in a 55. Broad daylight, fully marked unit,” and Dalton's already caught a speeder near the Papermill-Northshore exit.

"You don't have any type of emergency or anything?" Dalton asks the driver.

“I'm late for work,” she replies.

"Late for work?" Now this Knoxville woman is even later for work and brought to tears over her ticket. "You're getting a speeding citation. I'm going to give you a warning on two things: your address change n your license and your expired insurance card,” Dalton explains to her.

"I've had a few yell. I've had a few cuss, few of them tell you you're just a flat out liar,” Dalton says.

But no angry drivers today, even an Ohio man caught driving a bit too fast on I-75.

"Reason I stopped you today, you were going 80 in a 55,” he explains to the driver.

This couple says they were talking about their 7-7-7 wedding Saturday.

"I was talking to her. I wasn't paying attention," the driver tries to explain to Trooper Dalton.

"Wasn't paying attention?" Dalton replies.

Despite the wedding, Dalton didn't give the couple a break. "It seems that people get in the car and they think they've got an invisible shield on them, that nobody can touch them, they can do whatever they want to."

Dalton hopes the tickets will be lessons learned that save lives, "The faster you go, the worse the impact's going to be in a crash situation."

You can count on more officers on the road. THP received federal grant money to have extra enforcement, July 13th, 20th, 21st and 27th.

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