Longview police aim to make roads safer with ‘Operation: Pump the Brakes’

Officers looking for red-light runners and speeding drivers
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Published: May. 18, 2022 at 8:05 PM CDT|Updated: May. 18, 2022 at 9:40 PM CDT

LONGVIEW, Texas (KLTV) - Longview police are working to make the city’s roads safer, especially in areas plagued by crashes. Police are calling the increase in traffic enforcement “Operation: Pump the Brakes.”

Public Information Officer Brandon Thornton said the operation focuses on drivers running red lights, speeding, and driving recklessly.

Among the areas seeing an increase in enforcement: N. Eastman Rd. at Hawkins Parkway, the scene of a pickup truck rollover on Tuesday, along with numerous crashes in previous months.

Rollover at Eastman Road and Hawkins Parkway in Longview on May 17. Police say no serious...
Rollover at Eastman Road and Hawkins Parkway in Longview on May 17. Police say no serious injuries were reported. (Longview Police)

“Everybody’s trying to get somewhere and everybody’s just trying to get home safe,” said Reid Bryant, who manages the GNC store in a nearby shopping center. Bryant said he saw Tuesday’s crash from the front of his store.

Crashes like Tuesday’s rollover are the reason drivers are seeing an increase in Longview police officers patrolling some of the city’s busiest roads and intersections.

Officer Thornton said the number of crashes and complaints were considered when creating the operation. He said while the enforcement project was already being planned, a deadly day on Longview roads at the end of April brought urgency to the effort.

“The two motorcycle wrecks that we had on that Saturday, April 30, was just kind of a catalyst to go ahead and push it forward and get this operation going,” he said.

Along with Hawkins Parkway and Eastman Rd., officers are also beefing up patrol along Loop 281 and other major roads like McCann Rd., Gilmer Rd., and Hwy 80/Marshall Ave.

The effort is not only being tackled by the police department’s traffic division, according to Thornton.

“We’re also going to pull from our detectives, our CID (criminal investigations division), and they’ll be giving us a hand. So we’re going at it department-wide.”

A department-wide effort that Thornton said is about safety, not revenue. For now, the operation has no official end date and will be evaluated on a month-to-month basis.

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