Death On The Interstate - And Response (4)

Friday, February 9, 2018

How many people have to die or be crippled for life on I-24 and I-75 in Chattanooga by speeding tractor trailers before somebody sets up radar to control these monsters?

The fiery crash at the Moore Road exit Wednesday and the mangled fatal crash at the Rossville Boulevard exit the day before, both on I-24, were as result of uncontrollable speed by these "professional" drivers.

Going east below the ridge cut these trucks routinely hit 75 + MPH and there is no way they can stop for cars trying to merge onto the interstate.

The word is out that no law enforcement agency claims jurisdiction for the freeways within the city limits. The big trucks are killing Chattanoogans and nobody seems to care. 

Harry Presley 

* * * 

Most deaths in large truck crashes are passenger vehicle occupants. The main problem is the vulnerability of people traveling in smaller vehicles. Trucks often weigh 20-30 times as much as passenger cars and are taller with greater ground clearance, which can result in smaller vehicles under-riding trucks in crashes. 

Truck braking capability can be a factor in truck crashes. Loaded tractor-trailers take 20-40 percent farther than cars to stop, and the discrepancy is greater on wet and slippery roads. And yet, the cars still just pull out in front of them or cut them off before hitting their brakes. All this, mind you, while talking or texting. 

So enjoy your stuff today because those monsters brought it to you. 

BTW - The only thing I see killing Chattanoogans are Chattanoogans. 

Michael Burns 

* * * 

I will admit that the trucks are moving freight across the country. The problem is there are too many on the highway and they will not stay out of the passing lane. The state could fix this by enforcing a speed limit and keep them in the right hand lane.The trucks are the reason that traffic backs up on the Ridge cut everyday.

Look at North Carolina. They enforce the speed limit and they know if they get into the passing lane they will be pulled over and I would bet that the fatalities caused by the trucks is way lower than the state of Tennessee.

Again, someone is being paid off by the industry and not looking out for the people who are paying the price. 

Randy Saunders 

* * *

This week Chattanooga police officers responded to a fatal crash at 17900 I-24 East and another multi-vehicle crash at 18500 I-24 East. No information has been released by the Chattanooga Police Department indicating “uncontrollable speed” played a factor in either crash.  

The Chattanooga Police Department’s Traffic Unit continues to investigate the fatal crash at 17900 I-24 East that occurred on Feb. 6.  As previously released by CPD, a Honda Civic was entering the interstate from Market Street and attempted to change lanes too close to a Freightliner, the Civic then spun across all lanes of travel and into and under a Kenworth Class 8 truck. At this time, the investigation remains open and ongoing.  

The multi-vehicle crash at 18500 I-24 East also was not a result of “uncontrollable speed.” It was determined by responding CPD Officers that the driver of a Chevy pickup truck lost control on wet roadway and struck the concrete dividing wall. Three vehicles then crashed into the pickup, the last one being a Freightliner. Not involved in the crash was a semi that caught fire. The driver stated his bunk heater caught his sleeper cab on fire and it spread. This vehicle did not strike anything, just happened to be in the same area as the crash.  

The Chattanooga Police Department is the primary agency for all roadways including the interstate highways, within the city limits. We share jurisdiction within the city limits with other agencies such as the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office and the Tennessee Highway Patrol. The CPD Traffic Unit works with these agencies on a continuing basis to enforce all traffic statutes to reduce crashes and save lives.  

It is the mission of the Chattanooga Police Department to “keep you, your family, and our community safe,” including the traveling public on all roadways within the city limits. 

Elisa Myzal
Communications Coordinator
Chattanooga Police Department

* * *

Ms. Myzal ... that was a well orchestrated non-answer. Please tell us why speed limits are not enforced on interstates within Chattanooga city limits. 

Robert Grier 

* * * 

Ms. Myzal, 

I appreciate your feedback and I support the efforts to enforce traffic laws. However, I share the concerns that there seems to be a lack of enforcement (or lack of police presence) during certain times of the day. The speeders, including truckers, are well aware of this. 

I get on the ramp toward I24E from S. Market Street and ride it out to the Lee Highway exit.  At times, I have been forced to miss the 75N split because of speeders. Frequently, I am forced to miss the Lee Highway exit because of the speeders and the fast approaching traffic at the Lee Highway ramp. What a nightmare!  Flowing with traffic around the Ridge cut is even more dreadful during the commute in the evening.  

Regardless of the cause of those two accidents, speed has played a role in other accidents on this stretch of highway. The bottom line is that we are all seeking solutions on this matter. Perhaps one solution would be to increase police presence during the morning and evening commutes. Flashing police lights will get the attention of most speeders. 

Karen Lee



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