MPD Participates in Tennessee Highway Safety Office's Distracted Driving Campaign
The month of April is nationally recognized as Distracted Driving Awareness month. The Morristown Police Department (MPD) was among one of many agencies that participated in the Tennessee Highway Safety Office’s (THSO) Distracted Driving campaign.
Distracted driving falls under various categories; the main category is failure of driver to exercise due care. A violation of Tennessee Code Annotated 55-8-136 Drivers to exercise due care is a Class C Misdemeanor. The law states that “every driver of a motor vehicle shall exercise due care to avoid colliding with any other motor vehicle, either being driven or legally parked, upon any roadway, or any road sign, guard rail or any fixed object legally placed within or beside the roadway right of way, by operating the motor vehicle at a safe speed, maintaining a safe lookout, by keeping the motor vehicle under proper control and by devoting full time and attention to operating the motor vehicle, under the existing circumstances to avoid endangering life, limb or property.” One of the reasons drivers are cited for this law is because they are distracted, fiddling with their phones, putting on make-up, reaching for something in the backseat of the vehicle, etc. In April there were 57 citations issued for failure of driver to exercise due care.
In addition to due care, there were five texting while driving citations issued . The MPD wants to remind citizens that even though the campaign is over, distracted driving is a problem that the department will continue to focus on in an attempt to reduce crashes. Deputy Chief Michelle Jones stated, “The Morristown Police Department is committed to increasing awareness of the dangers of inattentive driving on our city streets and officers will continue to proactively enforce traffic laws to promote driving safely.”