MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WKRN) – Authorities cracked down Friday on speeders, texters, as well as drinking and driving on a dangerous stretch of roadway that spans from Davidson to Coffee County.
Law enforcement agencies are out in force looking for violators along State Route 41/70. It’s a stretch of road in Rutherford County that has proven to be dangerous and deadly.
“The reason we selected it, it was top of the list. It’s where the majority of our injury crashes occurred in 2016,”explained Cpl. Mark Mack. “[There were] three fatals on Highway 41 in 2016.”
That’s why the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office teamed up with Tennessee Highway Patrol, La Vergne, Smyrna and Murfreesboro police departments for Operation Blue 41.
“Which is our effort to combat the alarming increase in injury crashes and fatal accidents we’ve seen that began to trend last year and it’s continuing to trend this year,” Mack said.
State Route 41/70 is part Tennessee’s first state road, and it’s well traveled.
Law enforcement officers are urging drivers to buckle up, slow down, don’t text and drive, and to drive sober.
“We’re just out here looking to combat hazardous driving habits to make the roadway safer,” Mack said.
In 2016, there were 4,489 crashes in Rutherford County. Of those, 2,956 were injury accidents and 44 were fatal.
So far this year, there have been 1,526 vehicle crashes in Rutherford County. Nearly 1,000 of those had injuries and 11 were fatal, which is one less than this same time last year.
Chris Scott lives on Highway 41, also known as Manchester Highway, and right in front of his home last year, a man riding a motorcycle wrecked.
“A motorcycle run off the road hit the ditch, flipped and killed him,” Scott said.
He said people need to slow down.
“Here the past couple of years it’s getting real dangerous,” Scott said. “People fly down this road like they are on the Interstate.”
Law enforcement agencies chose Mother’s Day weekend to hold Blue 41 for good reason.
“It holds significance to everyone; it kind of tugs at the heart, so we want to make sure everyone get to their destination and was able to enjoy the Mother’s Day weekend,” Mack said.
Blue 41 began Friday at 6 a.m. and continued until 6 p.m.