Troopers crackdown on texting while driving

Troopers crackdown on texting while driving (Image 1)

Since the law was enacted in 2010, the Tennessee Highway Patrol has issued more than 400 citations to drivers caught texting behind the wheel.

Nashville and Davidson County received the most citations compared to surrounding counties with 27 citations in 2010 and 37 in 2011.

As of March 2012, 10 offenders had been cited in Davidson County.

Officials say texting is one of the worst forms of distracted driving and can lead to serious and even fatal crashes.

The highway patrol is on pace for a record number of citations in 2012 but admits, violators are difficult to catch.

“You can't read a text or send a text [but] sometimes it's hard to tell the difference between someone who is just dialing their phone,” Trooper Wayne Jackson told Nashville's News 2.  “The law doesn't address that.  It doesn't say you can't do that or talk on the phone so it's difficult to enforce at times.”

Although the law has been difficult to enforce, it is still a law that officers take very seriously.

THP says they have seen crashes on a daily basis that are the result of distracted driving.

Trooper Jackson said, “Some indicators of texting while driving are indicators that you would think of other things as well, such as swerving in your lane, swerving out of the lane, speed well below the speed limit, stopping at a green light [and] running through red lights.”

He continued, “Just not paying attention. Anything like that is an indicator of texting while driving.”

Any sworn officer in the state of Tennessee can issue a citation for texting while driving.

The fine for first time violators is $50.

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