TENNESSEE –From Monday, April 2, to Thursday, April 5, the Tennessee Highway Safety Office (THSO) and the Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP) will partner with local law enforcement for Tennessee’s third statewide bus tour to crack down on distracted driving. This initiative supports Tennessee’s mission to Drive to Zero, a multi-agency collaboration to decrease traffic fatalities statewide.
“Last year, THP provided two large, black and tan buses marked with THP logos to help promote awareness for the initiative,” said THSO Director Vic Donoho. “This year, we’re shifting focus more on the effectiveness of the enforcement efforts. This means utilizing additional passenger vehicles capable of traveling more efficiently on the highways.”
The THP will provide multiple unmarked passenger vehicles to transport various local law enforcement partners. Officers riding inside the THP vehicles will communicate to ground units after observing traffic violations to initiate the execution of enforcement action. Each participating district will conduct approximately two to four hours of enforcement.
“Distracted driving continues to threaten public safety,” said Commissioner David W. Purkey of the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security. “This is a high priority issue our department takes very seriously. We are pleased to have grown this initiative to include additional agencies who share our mission to decrease distracted driving crashes in Tennessee.”
In 2017, there were 24,781 traffic crashes statewide where distracted driving was a contributing factor, according to the Tennessee Integrated Traffic Analysis Network (TITAN). Of those crashes, 120 were fatal. “We caution all drivers to remain focused and alert at all times,” said THP Colonel Tracy Trott. “Tennessee is experiencing rapid increases in roadway use, roadway construction, and traffic congestion. The slightest distraction could lead to a traffic crash that kills a pedestrian, construction worker, or another driver.”