THP, local law enforcement team up for ‘Arrive Alive’ campaign

HENDERSON COUNTY, Tenn. — Local law enforcement officers are teaming up this week to reduce distracted driving during the busy summer travel season.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is enforcing more patrols with the Tennessee Highway Patrol and several West Tennessee police departments to reduce drivers who are distracted or impaired through a program called “Operation Southern Shield.”

The campaign aims to reduce the number of drivers who are speeding, impaired, distracted and not wearing seat belts from July 17 to July 23. Extra patrols are being funded by the NHTSA.

Henderson County Sheriff’s Office Capt. Tracey Grisham said his office works hard patrolling the highways and I-40.

“If we can just be seen, seen more than normal, that will slow a little people down in itself,” Capt. Grisham said.

The campaign will work with Madison and Henderson counties July 20 and 21, increasing patrols on I-40 from mile marker 67 to 134.

Areas of emphasis for patrols in Weakley, Gibson, Chester and McNairy counties will be on Highway 45. Troopers from Henry, Benton and Decatur counties will place an emphasis on Highway 641.

Statistics from the Tennessee Department of Homeland Security show an increase in traffic deaths. In 2015, 962 were reported while in 2016 over 1,000 fatalities were listed.

‘Operation Southern Shield’ is being held in July due to the larger than normal numbers of drivers on roads. Four other states participating include Alabama, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida.

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