Memphis, Tennessee – There have been many fatal accidents in the Mid-South over the past few years, and law enforcement agencies are using traffic safety campaigns to try to reduce them.
The most recent fatal accident occurred Tuesday night along Walnut Grove in Memphis.
Many law enforcement agencies use traffic campaigns to educate drivers and catch bad guys in hopes of making the roads safer.
Shelia O’Connor, traffic and transportation reporter for FOX13, sat down with the Tennessee Highway Patrol to see if these campaigns are making a difference.
It’s been slow progress, but THP officials said campaigns like Slow Down Memphis have been successful.
Carla Lipford, West Tennessee law enforcement coordinator, said fatal accidents are on a downward trend this year in Memphis and Shelby County.
“Last year this time around, we had 178 deaths in Shelby County,” she said. “Today we have 172. That’s six lives, six people who live at home with their families.”
Lipford credited the slight decrease in fatal accidents with traffic safety campaigns such as Slow Down Memphis.
She said progress to make roads safer has been a slow process.
“It’s not as we would like, because of course at any time, we don’t want any deaths,” Lipford said.
She said that in order to make the roads safer, it would take more than just increasing the presence of law enforcement authorities.
“Law enforcement, we can be there to enforce the law, we can be there to do the education, we can use the DMS all over the highway, but if the Shelby County citizens don’t do their part…” she said.
Doing your part means wearing a seat belt, driving at a speed limit, and not driving drunk or distracted.
Lipford said she is frustrated with people who don’t follow traffic laws.
Traffic safety campaigns also provide law enforcement with important information, such as the number of citations written and the violation.
“What kind of violation (that occurred)?” Lipford said. “Then you have the location. You know where the locations are, and match that to where our fatalities are. Where is the main place where deaths are occurring?”
This then allows agencies to take action on problem areas.
For those who seem to constantly cross boundaries on the road, endangering the lives of others, Lipford has this message: “Isn’t your life precious to you?”
Lipford said that as the summer campaigns draw to a close, THP is preparing to launch a holiday safety campaign soon.
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