Murfreesboro police target aggressive drivers - WKRN News 2

Murfreesboro police target aggressive drivers

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MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -

Drivers in Murfreesboro will be under the eye of a new police unit focused on stopping aggressive drivers.

Murfreesboro police have launched an aggressive driving unit that will have officers in unmarked vehicles looking for drivers who follow too close, speed, text while driving and disregard traffic signs, among other things.

The cars will look like other cars on the road, but officers will be equipped with radar, laser speed detection and a video recorder to capture the violations as they happen.

In a news release, Murfreesboro Police Chief Glenn Chrisman said, "This new initiative will help reduce dangerous driving behavior and will contribute towards the goal of improving safety on Murfreesboro roadways."

Drivers in Murfreesboro told News 2 the unit is badly needed as the city continues to grow and traffic gets more congested.

"They are crazy," Patrick Arnold said. "You can't hardly get from street to street without someone cutting you off or somebody texting and driving."

Arnold grew up in Murfreesboro and said he can see a difference in how people drive now compared to a few years ago

"People don't think about the consequences of their actions," he said. "It kind of scares you because this is the only car I have and if someone wrecks it what am I going to have to drive?"

Tuesday Kristi Smotherman was stopped by an officer driving a new unmarked unit across the street from police headquarters.

After her traffic stop she complimented the officer and said the patrols officers are doing are good.

"He was actually very nice," she said. "He basically just gave me a warning because the red light was yellow and right as I passed under it, it turned red. He was just letting me know I need to obey the laws a little better."

Smotherman has children and worries about other drivers when she has them in the car with her.

"Every day if you are in Murfreesboro you are going to run the chance of someone running you off the road, cutting you off or slamming in front of you," she said. "It is dangerous and with my children in the car it upsets me even more."

In 2011, Murfreesboro had 1,156 injury crashes and two fatal crashes.

In 2012, the city had 1,294 injury crashes and 9 fatal crashes.

Across Middle Tennessee aggressive driving has contributed to 60 crashes so far in 2013, according to the Tennessee Highway Patrol.

In 2011, aggressive driving contributed to 68 crashes including two fatalities.

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