Mercer County Sheriffs step up patrols at mile marker 1 and 9 - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

Mercer County Sheriffs step up patrols at mile marker 1 and 9

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Mercer County Sheriffs Department was patrolling interstate 77 this weekend, enforcing the required detour at exit 1. 

But Chief Deputy Joe Parks of the Sheriffs Department said there's a big problem in the construction zones. 

"We want to warn the public that things can happen in a split second," Parks said.

Over the weekend, the electrical sign near exit 1 that alerts commercial trucks to take the detour wasn't working. The deputies took it upon themselves to direct traffic. Officers then discovered that at 55 mph, some trucks didn't have enough time to detour. Many drivers slammed on their brakes, not realizing the trucks were still trying to take the exit. 

 "Tractor trailers that understood what we were doing would slow down enough to take the exit," Parks said. "Drivers behind the trucks need to stop slamming on brakes. It's very hazardous and it could cost you, your life." 

The Sheriffs Department will be prioritizing mile marker 1 and 9, so truck drivers can see the detour is being enforced. But they also want commuters to drive a safe distance from the big trucks. 

" We're just trying to minimize the danger," Parks said. 

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