Tennessee having a hard time to enforce texting ban
Since July 2009, it is illegal for motorists in Tennessee to exchange text messages while driving. But like in the state of New York, not many drivers have been caught in the act.
So far, in 2010, only 47 tickets have been issued in Tennessee for texting while driving. For Tennessee Department of Safety Public Affairs Director Mike Browning, the law does have a purpose of public safety, but it has a few flaws.
“It is a challenge to enforce. Troopers have to be careful that it’s clearly happening. The law permits you to dial on a cell phone. The number of citations will continue to grow as the law gets more recognition,” he said.
While the law may be difficult to enforce, it doesn’t discourage state troopers from stopping someone suspected of texting while driving.
“If somebody is killed in a car wreck as a result of somebody texting, we’re going to subpoena the records,” said Johnson City Police Department Sgt. Scotty Carrier. “We’re going to go back and take a look at that and if you were texting, then there can be some enhancement that can occur, because now you’re looking at careless behavior.”
The solution, according to Carrier, is to educate people on the dangers of texting while driving.
“I’m willing to surmise that most texts are non-emergencies,“ he said. “If a true emergency comes up, if I have an emergency or something, I’m going to make a phone call, I’m not going to send somebody a text. “
The maximum fine for texting while driving in Tennessee is $50.
Source: WJHL News Channel 11, April 30, 2010