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Why you'll see more troopers on Mid-South roads this holiday

The Tennessee Highway Patrol is launching the Tennessee Safe Travel Challenge Initiative, and effort to cut down on accidents over Thanksgiving.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Many people will hit the road for the Thanksgiving holiday. The Tennessee Highway Patrol expects holiday travel to increase starting Wednesday.

THP leaders said last year there were more than 20 accidents along I-40 the day before Turkey Day. This year, they are partnering with other local law enforcement agencies for the Tennessee Safe Travel Challenge Initiative.

The travel challenge is planned for Wednesday, November 24, and Sunday, November 28. During that time, THP will focus their attention along the I-40 corridor, which runs 455 miles and through eight states. 

Last year, according to the agency, there were six fatal crashes, three of the fatalities were alcohol-related, and three people killed were not wearing seat belts.

THP Commissioner Jeff Long said, “The Tennessee Highway Patrol will do everything in their power to ensure there’s not an empty seat at your family’s dinner table. We want our citizens and visitors to get to and from their destinations safely.”

TDOT is also joining the cause. To cut down on congestion, there will not be any construction-related lane closures on I-40 from noon on Wednesday, November 24, through midnight, Sunday night, November 28.

The Tennessee Highway Safety Office Director Buddy Lewis, said, “Make sure you’re fully rested before traveling long distances. Take rest breaks, as needed. Don’t drive drowsy. Set your GPS and make phone calls in advance so you’re focused and hands-free for the drive. Always buckle up and double-check your child passengers are properly restrained.”

If you need to be connected with a THP dispatcher, dial *847 from you cell phone.