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Nashville Police Use Unmarked Patrols to Enforce Tennessee Texting While Driving Ban
Posted By Kinnard, Clayton & Beveridge || Feb 8, 2011
Passing a law and enforcing it can sometimes be very different things. But in Nashville, at least, Tennessee's law against texting while driving is starting to show some teeth.
The legislature passed the law in 2009 and established a $50 fine for violation. Enforcement was initially limited, however, and the Tennessee Highway Patrol gave out only 54 tickets in 2009 and 171 last year. That's not very many tickets in a state of over 6 million people.
This year, Nashville police are determined to be more proactive. Seeking to reduce car accidents caused by distracted driving, the department has created text patrols. These are unmarked SUVs that are specifically assigned to look for texting while driving.
Explaining the new policy, Sgt. Bob Sheffield of the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department said that it was not intended to turn the department into Big Brother. Rather, the goal is to confront a dangerous behavior that has taken far too many lives and caused an excessive number of injuries.
Tennessee is one of 30 states that have banned texting messaging while driving by all drivers. Another eight states have laws against texting by novice drivers.
The temptation for compulsive texters is still there, though, despite the law. Some Nashville drivers say they have cut back on texting. Others admit they are practically addicted to it or have friends who are.
Please wait to text until you are no longer driving.