TDOT and law enforcement keep traffic moving at BMS

BRISTOL, Tenn. - Thousands of fans drove in and around Bristol Motor Speedway in the rain on Sunday.

Fans told us, despite the messy parking lots, the rain actually made it easier to get around.

"It was pretty busy, not as busy as it usually is," said Ron Caudill, from Kentucky.

Another fan described the traffic as "a little lighter than usual."

Parking attendant Charles Phelps watched the roads from one of the Earhart parking lots along Exide Drive. He told us the rain seemed to keep some fans at home.

"We had a good bit of traffic, obviously the weather is a factor," he said.

The fans who did make it out to the races made an effort to stay safe, Phelps said.

"People were considerate, drove slow, cautious of the pedestrians," he told us.

Fewer cars on the road meant a quiet day for Tennessee Department of Transportation patrols. TDOT told us it's usually the opposite in bad weather so they had HELP truck drivers in the area, prepared for the worst.

"Our trucks are set up so we can quickly, whether it be a crash or disabled vehicle or any number of other reasons, whether it be a car, truck, or RV, get it out of the traffic," said HELP truck driver Chester Hembree.

Hembree's truck has four-wheel drive, push bumpers and emergency work lights. He's also been trained for medical emergencies.

Hembree was one of four HELP truck drivers ready to keep traffic flowing around the Speedway. They patrolled Highway 394, U.S. Route 11, Interstate 81, and all of the roads in between.

Hembree told us, as of Sunday afternoon, they didn't get any calls. He said they don't expect any problems for the rest of the weekend, as long as drivers pay attention.

"If they're distracted or not paying attention or any number of things, they have to slow down, that's when you have your worst accidents," Hembree said.

TDOT also told us they have suspended all construction projects that would restrict traffic until Monday, March 17.

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