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Thu, Apr 17, 2014

Police launch new unit to combat dangerous driving

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MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -- The Murfreesboro Police Department is launching a new program Monday aimed at catching dangerous drivers through a new unit that will be patrolling the area in unmarked cars.

“A team of officers will be aggressively seeking out drivers displaying characteristics of aggressive driving,” said Sgt. Kyle Evans, public information officer for the Police Department.

He said aggressive driving is commonly described as the commission of multiple violations that are likely to endanger others, as well as any intentional violation that requires other drivers to defensively react to their actions.

The announcement comes on the heels of recently released data by the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration showing roughly one-third of all traffic crashes and about two-thirds of the resulting fatalities in the U.S. can be attributed to aggressive driving.

In response to the national statistics and growing concern over local traffic-related issues, Evans said, the Police Department is adding the unit as part of a “comprehensive approach” to creating safer roadways.

The unit will be charged with monitoring drivers for various reasons, including those who are following too close to other cars or texting while driving. The officers will have the same authority as other patrol units – meaning they will be authorized to pull over drivers and issue tickets, as well as make arrests, if warranted.

Officers will be equipped with “street appearance” unmarked police cars, Evans said.

That includes having the same equipment as regular patrol cars, such as radar and laser speed detection, in addition “an onboard video recorder to capture and record violators’ behavior.”

“This is another part of our goal of creating a better quality of life for our residents and visitors,” said Glen Chrisman, chief of the Police Department. “This new initiative will help reduce dangerous driving behavior and will contribute toward the goal of improving safety on Murfreesboro roadways.”


-- Marie Kemph, mkemph@murfreesboropost.com

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Crime, Glen Chrisman, MPD, Murfreesboro, Public Safety, Traffic
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