TSD Memphis

Sat04192014

News

TSD spotlight yields heat relief from state

Memphians standing in line at the driver’s license center at 6340 Summer Avenue still faced long waits this week but it was a bit more bearable as the state began to hand out bottled water and provide tents for shade. Memphians standing in line at the driver’s license center at 6340 Summer Avenue still faced long waits this week but it was a bit more bearable as the state began to hand out bottled water and provide tents for shade.

Relief from the heat – tents and bottled water – arrived this week for those facing long lines at the Summer Avenue Driver Testing Station. (Courtesy photo)

The Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security’s response came as a result of the New Tri-State Defender’s coverage of the long lines at that center, and others situated in heavily minority areas.

The TSD interviewed Michael Hogan, the director of the drivers’ license centers on Tuesday and he pledged to provide water and shelters for those being asked to wait outside the building in 90 plus degree heat. By Wednesday, the tents were up and employees were handing out bottled water.

On Wednesday morning, the state put out a press release stating it was “offering relief from the heat for citizens waiting to apply for, renew or reinstate their driver licenses at the Summer Avenue Driver Testing Station.”

Also Wednesday, driver services employees provided bottled water to citizens waiting outside and will continue to do so during excessive heat advisories, the state said. The TSD had asked whether the long outdoor lines constituted a public health hazard and might result in lawsuits if a patron suffered heat stroke or a related illness.

The Tennessee Highway Patrol has provided canopy tents to offer shade for those forced to temporarily wait in line. Additionally, staff members are offering to check citizens’ paperwork while they wait in line to ensure they have the proper documents to apply for, renew, or reinstate a driver license.

“The length of time citizens often have to wait for Driver Services is not acceptable. We are working to reduce the wait times at our centers across the state. However, the severe heat is making a bad situation worse at the Summer Avenue location and we felt we had to immediately act to provide water and shade for citizens waiting outside,” said Commissioner Gibbons.

“In the coming days and weeks, I encourage Shelby County residents to visit one of the other Driver Services centers in Shelby County where there is ample space for citizens to wait inside for the application, renewal, or reinstatement process.”

Additional Driver Services centers in Shelby County:
Whitehaven Driver Testing Station
3200 East Shelby Drive,
Memphis, TN

Millington Driver Testing Station
5019 West Union Road
Millington, TN

Walnut Grove Driver Service Center (Express services only. No testing.)
3040 Walnut Grove Road
Memphis, TN

Tennessee Department of Safety and
Homeland Security Driver Service Center
Lowest Wait Times
January - June 30, 2011
Station Name County Wait Time
Trenton Gibson 16.22
Dresden Weakley 18.64
Savannah Hardin 19.15
Tennessee Towers Davidson 20.79
Union City Obion 22.15
Dickson Dickson 22.62
Fayetteville Lincoln 24.21
Lawrenceburg Lawrence 26.05
Shelbyville Bedford 27.43
Paris Henry 27.58
Highest Wait Times
January - June 30, 2011
Station Name County Wait Time
Johnson City Washington 81.49
Cookeville Putnam 80.71
Whitehaven Shelby 80.69
Blountville Sullivan 79.26
Summer Ave Shelby 78.94
Millington Shelby 78.52
Hart Lane Davidson 74.56
Cleveland Bradley 72.32
Clarksville Montgomery 67.21
Midtown Shelby 66.29
* Midtown, Walnut Grove Driver Service Center at 3040 Walnut Grove Road is express services only, with no testing. The state begins tracking wait times once a customer is handed a service ticket at the information desk. At Summer Ave., patrons recently had to wait three hours just to reach the service desk. So the total wait time would be 4 to 5 hours.


Add comment


Security code
Refresh