'Shelby County Crackdown' looks to lower number of traffic deaths

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - The pain for WMC Action News 5 Chief Meteorologist Emeritus Dave Brown never goes away.

"It will never be a day that goes by that I don't think about it and think them," Brown said.

In 1997, a drunk driver killed his daughter, granddaughter, and unborn grandson.

"Don't drink and drive first thing. It's not OK for you to do it," Brown said.

It's been a deadly start to the year on Tennessee roads and nearly a quarter of the 86 deaths so far this year have occurred in Shelby County.

Several Mid-South law enforcement agencies including the Memphis Police Department, Shelby County Sheriff's Office and Tennessee Highway Patrol want to make sure nobody has to feel Brown's pain.

For 24 hours, starting at 9 a.m. Friday, they will flood Shelby County streets and highways with law enforcement looking for all traffic violators. They're calling it "Shelby County Crackdown."

Officials said they will focus much of their efforts on three areas: Austin Peay Highway, Hacks Cross and Shelby Drive, and I-55.

"It's going to be a zero tolerance operation," Tennessee Highway Patrol Capt. Jimmie Johnson said. "We're already up five (deaths). That's five too many and we want to get a hold of it before it gets bigger than that."

At this point last year, Shelby County had 17 traffic deaths. So far in 2018, there have been 22.

The main causes for the accidents that lead to fatalities are speeding and distracted driving.

"We're hoping to have zero fatalities this weekend or any weekend," Johnson said.

Some local law enforcement will get overtime to participate. Other officers will come from neighboring counties.

"Anything we can do to make it more certain when I get out on the highway so I've got a better chance of getting back home," Brown said.

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