THP, Metro police cracking down on distracted driving - WSMV News 4

THP, Metro police cracking down on distracted driving

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(WSMV file photo) (WSMV file photo)

The Tennessee Highway Patrol and the Metro Nashville Police Department are teaming up to crack down on distracted driving. 

On Tuesday morning, THP acted as spotters for police. They hit the road in a clearly marked bus, looking for people breaking the law.

The plan was simple: A THP trooper spots the distracted driver and calls it in to police.

"We are looking for ways we can prevent crashes, you know, people who are texting and driving, people who are driving distracted, that's our ultimate goal," said THP Sgt. Travis Plotzer. "Today while we were out seeing people do just that - everything except driving."

So how bad is it? According to the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security, there were 1,571 accidents involving a distracted driver in 2007. Last year, there were 2,861.

Police pulled the driver of a truck over for texting and driving on Tuesday morning. They said they found marijuana in the vehicle too.

"He did have some marijuana on him in the vehicle, but also there was a log book violation. It was a commercial motor vehicle," Plotzer said.

In the end, officials say they just want everyone to get home alive.

"To send and receive a text message, some of the numbers we've looked at, takes about 4.6 seconds. When you're traveling 55 mph, you're going to travel at least the length of a football field. That's concerning because basically you're driving blindfolded," Plotzer said.

Texting while driving will cost drivers a $50 fine and up to $10 in court fees.

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