THP begins I-40 Challenge ahead of Thanksgiving travel

HENDERSON COUNTY, Tenn. — The Tennessee Highway Patrol is giving up their holiday to make sure you make it to yours.

The Tennessee Highway Patrol says in 2018, there were 46 crashes on Interstate 40 the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, and 55 the Sunday after.

“Our goal is to make sure everybody is traveling safely during the holidays. Our goal is to have a trooper every 20 miles to make sure people traveling in passenger vehicles and commercial vehicles are obeying the law and as safe as can be,” THP Sgt. Jena Eubanks said. “[Commercial vehicles] travel across I-40 during the holidays, and they are also subject to crashes and not obeying the law. So we’re out here making sure they’re doing what passenger cars are doing.”

But troopers are checking passenger vehicles too.

“We’re not out here to ruin your day. We’re here to make it safe and enjoyable. That’s the same on the holidays. We want everyone to make it to where they need to go for the holidays to celebrate with their family and friends,” Sgt. Eubanks said.

Troopers are making sure you’re following the basic laws, like having your seat belt buckled and keeping your eyes on the road.

“We’re looking for, of course, distracted driving. If they have their phone in their hand, if they’re looking at something and not the roadway, if they’re drinking and driving, if they’re speeding, not maintaining their lane,” Sgt. Eubanks said.

The I-40 Challenge started Wednesday, but safety checks will continue through the weekend to ensure people travel safely.

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