Troopers kick off statewide distracted driving enforcement bus tour


JACKSON, Tenn. — It’s National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, and the state of Tennessee is taking it seriously.

The sound of sirens is something no driver wants to hear, and local law enforcement says you can avoid it by not driving distracted.

“We want drivers to do what makes it safe on the roadways, and we change driver behavior through education or enforcement, and we let the driver choose which one,” said Brenda Jones, assistant law enforcement administrator for the Tennessee Highway Safety Office.

The THSO and Tennessee Highway Patrol on Monday kicked off the statewide distracted driving enforcement bus tour.

“Tennessee Highway Patrol has provided a marked bus that law enforcement individuals are going to be on to spot distracted drivers,” THSO spokesperson Arriale Tabson said.

“And you’ll see on the bus that it’s so common now, people of all ages, people of all races, everyone is doing it, and that’s why we’ve got to raise this awareness,” said THP spokesman Lt. Brad Wilbanks.

This bus tour does more than just spread distracted driving awareness — it also enforces it.

“We’re going to be spotting for any motorists that are violating the law and use those officers to communicate to patrolmen on the road in order to pull them over,” Tabson said.

The THSO not only wants to decrease distracted driving habits but change the mindset of a culture that has come to accept it as OK.

“We’re in a generation where everybody has to be connected — it’s got to be instantaneous,” Lt. Wilbanks said. “No, it doesn’t. The weather report will be there when you get parked somewhere. Wait and look at that when you get there. Twitter will be there when you get parked.”

The statewide bus tour started Monday morning in Memphis and will go all the way to East Tennessee.

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