THP bus seeks distracted drivers, public awareness

By ALLEN MINCEY
Posted 10/10/17

 Through Thursday, Oct. 12, the Tennessee Highway Safety Office and the Tennessee Highway Patrol will partner with local law enforcement agencies for the state’s second statewide bus tour to …

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THP bus seeks distracted drivers, public awareness

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 Through Thursday, Oct. 12, the Tennessee Highway Safety Office and the Tennessee Highway Patrol will partner with local law enforcement agencies for the state’s second statewide bus tour to crack down on distracted driving.

 The THP will provide two large, black-andt-an buses marked with THP logos to transport law enforcement as they observe motorists for traffic violations. Officers within the THP bus will communicate to patrol vehicles on the road to take law enforcement action. Each participating district will conduct approximately two hours of enforcement.

 “Distracted driving continues to be a major threat to the safety of our highways,” said Commissioner David W. Purkey of the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security. “Due to the success of our first bus tour, we were encouraged and eager for the THSO, THP, and local law enforcement to execute the initiative a second time this year."

 In April 2017, Tennessee’s first bus tour yielded more than 200 traffic citations. 

  “Distracted driving is a constant battle,” said Vic Donoho, director of the THSO. “The purpose of the bus tour is to assist law enforcement in targeting drivers who are distracted in any way, shape, or form.

 "This means driving while eating, texting, tweeting, snapchatting, or any other behavior indicating lack of due care," Donohoo said. "We ask motorists to focus, drive using hands-free technology, and keep both eyes on the road at all times.”

 According to the Tennessee Integrated Traffic Analysis Network, in 2017 there have been 22,704 motor vehicle crashes statewide in which distracted driving was found to be a contributing factor. Eighty-one of those crashes were fatal. This time last year, there were 23,486 crashes statewide in which distracted driving was determined to be a contributing factor. Of those crashes, 107 were fatal.

 “We are always looking for new and effective methods to reduce injuries suffered in motor vehicle crashes,” said THP Colonel Tracy Trott.

“The statewide bus tour that our department conducts has proven to be very effective. There is no doubt that it promotes awareness to the importance of wearing your seat belt and not driving distracted.”

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