SPD Says “Thumbs Down” to Texting & Driving

Posted April 6, 2017

The Sevierville Police Department (SPD) is partnering with the Tennessee Highway Safety Office (THSO) to promote the third annual Thumbs Down to Texting and Driving campaign during the month of April. April is nationally recognized as Distracted Driving Awareness Month. Agencies participate in the campaign by promoting safe driving habits and increasing awareness about the dangers of distracted driving. Throughout April, the THSO will use #ThumbsDownTN to promote the campaign via social media.

“Texting and driving requires motorists to take their eyes off the road, hands off the wheel, and minds off the task of driving. It creates the proverbial ‘perfect storm’ for a crash, and no one has the right to put another person’s life at risk like that,” said SPD Chief Don Myers. “Please join our officers in supporting ‘Thumbs Down to Texting and Driving’ in Sevierville.”

Texting and driving in Tennessee can result in a $50 fine for a driver of any age. For young drivers who have Learner’s Permits or Intermediate Restricted licenses, cell phone use of any kind while driving is illegal.

 Preliminary data reveals that in 2016, Tennessee experienced its highest number of known distracted-driving crashes at 24,743. These crashes resulted in the deaths of 58 people. Across the state, approximately 28 individuals on average are injured each day in a crash caused by a distracted driver. Nearly twelve percent of all crashes statewide last year were caused by someone who was driving distracted.

“Five seconds is the average time your eyes are off the road while texting,” said Vic Donoho, Director of the THSO. “At 55 miles per hour, that’s enough time to cover the length of a football field. Every distracted-driving crash is preventable. We ask Tennesseans to stay focused while driving, because it could be a matter of life or death.”

For more information, or to learn more about texting and driving, visit http://distracted.tntrafficsafety.org/.