Tennessee Troopers Take To Truck To Nab Texters

Topic 10186 | Page 1

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Anchorman's Comment
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Tennessee troopers take to truck to nab texters

1383599892THP_Truck.jpgIMG_2292-1.jpg?ve=1&tl=1

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – State troopers are hiding in plain sight as they try to recapture the attention of distracted drivers.

Their full-size truck is outfitted with a blue light bar and Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP) decals. Yet many passing motorists continue to text and drive, apparently unaware of the uniformed trooper peering down from the cab.

“Folks aren’t looking for rigs like this, that belong to us, that are used for these enforcement initiatives,” said THP Sgt. Josh Brown.

The truck’s high vantage point allows troopers to spot drivers who keep their phones below window level. When they spot a violator, they radio a description of the vehicle to troopers in conventional police cars to make a traffic stop.

“It seems like people have the attitude, ‘Everybody does it. And this one time isn’t gonna matter,’” Sgt. Brown said. “Unfortunately, many times those distractions do end up in crashes.”

Distracted driving, including texting and cell phone use, plays a role in 26 percent of traffic fatalities, ranking just behind speeding (30 percent) and alcohol use (31 percent), according to data compiled by the National Safety Council (NSC), a nonprofit public interest group chartered by Congress.

“This Labor Day weekend, if we could have no drunk drivers, no distracted drivers and people just slowed down a bit, hundreds of lives would be saved,” said NSC President Deborah Hersman.

Around the nation, police are becoming increasingly creative in their efforts to catch texting drivers. In some municipalities, cops have posed as panhandlers or construction workers to get a closer look inside passing cars.

But the Tennessee Highway Patrol’s strategy is different.

“It’s not a covert operation,” THP Lt. Bill Miller said, standing in front of his agency’s Peterbilt police truck. “We’re not trying to hide it. We’re very proud of it.”

Seized in a drug bust, the truck allows state troopers to spot hazards beyond texting, such as safety belt and child seat violations. Although the idea of cops watching from above may make some motorists uncomfortable, police insist it’s all in the name of safety.

“We know that the truck is saving lives,” Lt. Miller said. “We know that beyond a shadow of a doubt.”

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
The Persian Conversion's Comment
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Clever!

"Seized in a drug bust" you say? I'd like to hear that story...

Susan D. 's Comment
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Yep, they've had that truck quite a few years now. They cruise along I-40 between Knoxville and Nashville often. They use the cb handle Trucker Bear. My dad used to see and talk to them often. It was so funny, there was actually a DOT officer with the same name as my dad. My dad retired from Exxon in 1980, and from Proline Carriers in 2000. He never had a single accident in a commercial vehicle in all those years. He passed away in February 2014 at the age of 84.

CB Handle:

This is the nickname people use on the CB

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
RedBeard's Comment
member avatar

Dude no **** i got behind that thing on 24 westbound right inside nasvhille beside the stadium last week. I got on the cb and tried to talk them but no answer, was kinda bummed out but i didnt know it was for catching people texting i thought it was a way to teach kids how to drive around and be aware of CMVs.

CMV:

Commercial Motor Vehicle

A CMV is a vehicle that is used as part of a business, is involved in interstate commerce, and may fit any of these descriptions:

  • Weighs 10,001 pounds or more
  • Has a gross vehicle weight rating or gross combination weight rating of 10,001 pounds or more
  • Is designed or used to transport 16 or more passengers (including the driver) not for compensation
  • Is designed or used to transport 9 or more passengers (including the driver) for compensation
  • Is transporting hazardous materials in a quantity requiring placards
Rachel G.'s Comment
member avatar

Yep, they've had that truck quite a few years now. They cruise along I-40 between Knoxville and Nashville often. They use the cb handle Trucker Bear. My dad used to see and talk to them often. It was so funny, there was actually a DOT officer with the same name as my dad. My dad retired from Exxon in 1980, and from Proline Carriers in 2000. He never had a single accident in a commercial vehicle in all those years. He passed away in February 2014 at the age of 84.

Thanks for sharing Sue D. 'Trucker Bear' too funny! I bet your dad got a kick out of meeting a dot officer that patrolled in a truck. I imagine he had a lot of road stories and wisdom that he passed on to you. My dad drove trucks too, and he's given me some of the best advice I've ever gotten about driving and life in general for that matter

I'm sorry to hear that your dad passed. He'll forever be with you.

CB Handle:

This is the nickname people use on the CB

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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