UPDATE: Chattanooga police issue 175 speeding tickets on Hwy 153 Tuesday
Officers with the Chattanooga Police Department spent all Tuesday cracking down on speeders. Sergeant David Gibb with the city's traffic unit told Channel 3 his officers cited 175 drivers for speeding, arrested one person for marijuana and another for warrants.
Police pulled over close to 200 drivers on Highway 153 near Jersey Pike as part of an organized traffic saturation.
Sgt. Gibb sat on an exit, clocked speeders on the highway, then radioed to one of his 10 waiting officers to pull over the speeding driver. But they're not hiding. The goal of Tuesday's saturation is visibility.
"I want them to see me and slow down. Visibility is probably half the battle," said Sgt. David Gibb.
Gibb is fighting a big battle trying to curb fatalities. Traffic deaths in Chattanooga are up from this time last year.
"We had a fatality where a 10-year-old girl was killed and you see one of those and you want all the fatalities to stop," he said.
He said roadway fatalities can ultimately be prevented and that Chattanooga has a serious speed problem.
"We'll be out here writing as many as we have to until these people slow down," he said.
Gibb and his fleet of police look for violations that can save a life.
"Child restraint, seatbelt violations, obviously the speeding, following too closely, anything that's a safety violation that can cause a fatality," he said.
The speed limit on Highway 153 near Jersey Pike is 55, but even during the short time Channel-3's crew shadowed the police, Sgt. Gibb clocked a driver going 82. That's 27 mph over the posted speed limit.
"A crash at that speed could very easily kill if not maim somebody for the rest of their life," he said
Gibb said most drivers understand the importance of the saturation.
"You'd be surprised the amount of people who appreciate what we're doing. They take the ticket and then realize they were wrong," he said.
The Chattanooga Police Department is planning four more traffic saturations before October.