THP to enforce law as distracted driving tool - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

THP to enforce law as distracted driving tool

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(WMC-TV) – Tennessee Highway Patrol will be conducting, what they call, an unprecedented 10 county law enforcement campaign looking for seat belt violators and distracted drivers Friday.

Troopers will be scattered all over West Tennessee, including Memphis and Shelby County.

THP told Action News 5 that the due-dare law, which says drivers should look out for the safety of others, has not been enforced by troopers as a distracted driving tool.

Troopers say distracted driving is an epidemic in West Tennessee.

"Anything that takes their eyes off the road, hands off the wheel, and mind off driving," said Sgt. Chris Richardson, Tennessee Highway Patrol. "It's not just your radio like in times past, or your passengers. But it's your GPS system, your phone, any electronic device imaginable is being used today and these things are being used in cars."

Troopers are hoping Friday's 12 hour initiative will get drivers' attention. They hope to change driving habits instead of surprising drivers by dropping the hammer on them.

Last year, unsecured drivers accounted for more than half of the fatalities in Tenn.

"Overall, crashes are down, but fatalities in Shelby County are up, primarily in the City of Memphis," said Richardson.

If troopers see drivers who are distracted or not wearing a seat belt, they plan to issue a citation.

The enforcement initiative will take place from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday, but will more than likely become the norm.

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