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There are nearly one million people across Tennessee out on the roads on Thanksgiving Day Eve, marking one of the busiest travel days of the year.

Many of us are in an hurry to get to the Thanksgiving destination we've been looking forward to all year.

"When you get into the holiday period, everybody has their mind elsewhere," said THP Sgt. Kevin Smith who patrols Knoxville.

It's Sgt. Smith's job to snap you back to reality.

Wednesday he's working a 12-hour shift patrolling Interstate 40. It is part of a nationwide initiative called the "Interstate 40 Challenge: The Drive Toward Zero Fatalities." Every 20 miles from North Carolina to California, state patrol officers are stationed.

"In Knoxville, in our district, there's quite a few more," Sgt. Smith said. He estimated there are 14 troopers patrolling in Knoxville alone.

Sgt. Smith is pulling over speeders, drunk and distracted drivers, and people not wearing seat belts.

As he handed out tickets, he added he is not trying to ruin the holiday.

"Nobody likes getting pulled over," he said.

Even though the fines can be costly, he's hoping his lights and sirens will help save lives. He said speeding is often a contributing factor in traffic fatalities.

THP also plans to have troopers patrolling all day Sunday when many travelers are expected to return home from their travels.

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