Law Enforcement Use Buses To Spot Texting Drivers

Law Enforcement Use Buses To Spot Texting Drivers

CLARKSVILLE TENNESSEE: (Smokey Barn News) – Last Tuesday the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, Clarksville Police Department, and the Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP) conducted a bus tour to increase awareness of the new Hands-Free Tennessee law.

A “bus tour” (in this case) refers to a bus filled with law enforcement officers that are looking for distracted drivers and traffic violations. The bus provides elevated seating which offers a clear view inside passing vehicles.

Last May the Tennessee Highway Patrol brought their great big heavily marked bus to Roberson County looking for distracted drivers. If nothing else, the bus looks like a gigantic police car on steroids. However distracted drivers are completely oblivious to the bus. VIDEO REPORT

According to Travis Platzor with the Tennessee Highway Patrol, the purpose of using the oversized heavily marked bus is to show how unaware distracted drivers are.  To get ticketed they had to miss the big bus and all the officers swarming around it like a beehive. The THP’s clever idea made it all the way to the Wall Street Journal.  FULL STORY

Distracted drivers in Clarksville were not so lucky last Tuesday. Instead of using a heavily marked bus on steroids, authorities used a plain yellow school bus. For distracted drivers, there was nowhere to hide. Authorities were not without mercy, this time it was just a warning. Ticketing will officially start on Labor Day, September 2nd. The point is not to write tickets, it’s to change behavior and save lives, according to Sandra Brandon, Public Information Officer with the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office.

“Our goal was to increase driver awareness of the new Hands-Free Tennessee law,” Brandon said.  “We want to remind drivers that the slightest distraction from a cell phone could lead to a traffic crash that kills or injures a pedestrian, construction worker, or fellow driver.”

In Clarksville last week, fifty-seven citations were issued for traffic violations, with seventeen warning citations issued for violation of the Hands-Free Tennessee law.

If you are not familiar with the new cell phone law or you would just like a refresher on the new law, click here or watch the video below.

Though they have no constitutional obligation to tell us, Smokey Barn News reached out to local law enforcement to see if they had a date for the next texting sweep in Roberton County but no date was available.

Whether it’s a school bus, church van or bus on steroids, drivers have two choices, look up and wave or sign on the dotted line.

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