Tennessee Highway Safety Office starts Operation Hands-Free

On Monday, the Tennessee Highway Safety Office will be on a statewide tour promoting hands-free driving.
Published: Apr. 4, 2022 at 6:10 AM CDT
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - It’s Distracted Driving Awareness Month, and Monday, there’s a statewide effort to bring attention to the dangers of distracted driving.

On Monday, the Tennessee Highway Safety Office partnered with Tennessee Highway Patrol and Georgia State Police for a bus tour and enforcement campaign. Their statewide tour promotes hands-free driving. The campaign aims “to reduce distracted-driving crashes” and cut down on deadly crashes.

The campaign has been going on for several years. It is illegal to handle your cell phone while driving in Tennessee, yet it remains a problem.

Talking, texting, watching a movie, and recording a video are distracting while you are behind the wheel is against the law. Unfortunately, law enforcement said it’s a growing problem everywhere.

In Nashville alone, Metro Police said that from 2019 until now, there had been more than 5000 distracted driving-related crashes.

Vanderbilt Dr. Rodrigo Rodriguez said he often treats a lot of young patients who are driving while distracted. Rodriguez said some patients turn their stories into a lesson for others.

“It significantly impacts their future lifestyles given that they’re probably going to be undergoing rehab for 1 to 2 months. People that also require surgical intervention that puts a significant burden into both them and their families,” Rodriguez said. “We have a lot of patients who subsequently start to become leaders in their own little communities that you know…help prevent this from happening in the future.”

To learn more about Tennessee’s hands-free law by clicking here. For distracted-driving crash data provided by Tennessee’s Integrated Traffic Analysis Network, click here.

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