Officers crack down on distracted driving with bus tour

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Law enforcement officials in Memphis are tracking down distracted drivers.

Tennessee Highway Patrol and Memphis Police Department are working together on the third Distracted Driving Enforcement Bus Tour.

"Distracted driving is an epidemic in this nation, and it's showing no signs of letting up," said Sergeant Chris Richardson with Tennessee Highway Patrol. "It's a very destructive habit, and it's costing people's lives."

Officers gathered in a bus, traveling around the city to spot drivers who aren't paying attention to the road.

According to the Tennessee Highway Safety Office (THSO), in 2017 at least 24,000 crashes were caused by distracted driving.

"Of those 24,000 crashes, 120 of those were fatal," THSO PIO Arielle Tabson said. "That's a big deal for something that very preventable."

Distracted driving is any activity that takes your attention away from driving, including talking or texting on your phone, eating and drinking, or doing makeup.

While riding along with Memphis police officers in an unmarked van, WMC Action News 5's Jerica Phillips still caught several motorists driving distracted.

As soon officers and patrolmen spotted people distracted at the wheel, they were pulled over and given a citation.

Texting while driving is banned in Tennessee, and as of January 2018 all cell phone usage, even hands-free devices, are against the law in school zones.

Officers said you can expect to see them out through the week enforcing the law they say will save lives.

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