Operation Smoke Cracks Down on Distracted Drivers

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JACKSON, Tenn.– The Tennessee Highway Patrol launched Operation Smoke on Friday, patrolling roads and highways from their vehicles on the road and in the air. Troopers like Lieutenant Wilbanks say they’re just trying to save lives. “People get behind the wheel of a car going 70 miles per hour and they just forget the dangers involved,” Wilbanks says. From the air, the Highway Patrol can see the congestion of traffic and point out aggressive drivers. And from the road you can see who is wearing seat belts and paying attention. THP says their goal is to make sure drivers are buckled, staying off of cell phones, and keeping their eyes on the road. Some West Tennessee drivers like Beverly Bell agree with the crackdown. “I’ve had family members who were killed from people who were either drinking or texting,” Bell says. Lieutenant Wilbanks says they’ll do whatever it takes to make Tennessee roads a safe place for drivers. In one day they wrote nearly 200 citations from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Operation Smoke is something they’ll do at least once a month to make drivers more aware.

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