During a Father’s Day weekend saturated patrol, McMinnville Police Department strengthened its presence at the intersection of Mullican Street and Highway 70s Bypass resulting in five citations for motorists running red lights.
“We wanted to include that intersection in the saturated patrol because of the fatality that occurred there when a motorist ran the light,” said Lt. Mark Mara.
On Friday morning, motorcyclist Nelson Vogel was fatally injured when he entered the intersection from Mullican Street and was struck by a motorist traveling on the bypass who failed to stop at a red light.
The saturated patrol, targeting motorists who exhibit risky driving that could be contributed to intoxication, resulted in stopping 22 vehicles. Of the 22 stops, 15 citations and three warning were given.
Along with the five citations for running red lights, the department handed out two tickets for no insurance, six tickets for not wearing a seatbelt and two tickets for speeding. The warnings consisted of two for excessive speed and one for not wearing a seatbelt.
While one stop resulted in a charge for misdemeanor drugs, there were no arrests for driving under the influence (DUI), and no accidents involving injuries during the hours of the saturated patrol.
Officers assigned to the saturation are actively pursuing impaired drivers by patrolling the streets and conducting traffic stops when a motorist exhibits unsafe driving that could be an indication of intoxication, such as running red lights, following too closely, speeding, swerving, etc.
“A saturated patrol is like having an extra set of officers on the street at one time,” said Mara. “Those assigned to the patrol do not respond to calls. Our only purpose is to look for and remove intoxicated drivers to make the streets safer.”
The department receives a grant called “Be A Survivor: Get a Designated Driver” from the Tennessee Governors Highway Safety Office to pay the expenses associated with having extra officers on the street.