Campaign urges drivers to slow down on Tenn. roadways - WKRN News 2

Campaign urges drivers to slow down on Tenn. roadways


A father who lost his son while doing roadwork is making a public plea, asking drivers to be careful on Tennessee roadways.

"It's something you never get over," said Jimmy McNeece, who works for the Tennessee Department of Transportation.

He lost his only child 14 years ago.

His son, 22-year-old Jay McNeece, decided to follow in his father's footsteps and work for TDOT.

He was in a work zone just outside Springfield when he was struck by a motorist.

"The day of the accident, he was working in the survey crew and this lady speeding down the highway hit him," recalled Jimmy.

Jay is one of 109 TDOT employees killed on the job since 1948.

Since his son's death, Jimmy has served as a TDOT safety coordinator.

"To be part of that scene, it's something that lives with you forever," said Sgt. Bill Miller with the Tennessee Highway Patrol.

Miller responded to Jay's accident back in February 2000 and is now part of a campaign that is cracking down on reckless drivers.

During a ride-a-long, News 2 saw the campaign first hand.

Using radar, Sgt. Miller spotted a speeder within seconds.

The driver was going 83-miles-per-hour in a 55 mile-per-hour construction zone which is something that could warrant a citation of up to $500.

Jimmy said he hopes the initiative serves as a "wake up call."

"All I can say for people who are out there is slow down because that could be your son, wife, husband," he said.  

The Work Zone Safety Initiative is part of THP's "Drive to Zero Fatalities" year-round campaign where troopers crack down on all reckless and distracted drivers.

They are patrolling on the roads and even in the air. They have five helicopters dispatched throughout the state looking out for these dangerous drivers.

For more information on this campaign click here.

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