Metro continues to crack down on distracted drivers - WKRN News 2

Metro continues to crack down on distracted drivers

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. -

Metro police have put an emphasis on identifying distracted drivers due to the number of crashes they have caused over the years in Davidson County.

In Metro-Nashville alone, over 15,000 wrecks are to blame for distracted drivers, the highest in Middle Tennessee.

According to the Tennessee Department of Safety, distracted driving includes being "inattentive, texting/PDA/blackberry, GPS, cellular in use, computer, fax, printer, on-board navigation system, other electronic device, two way radio, head up display, other-inside vehicle, other-outside vehicle."

Drivers can make phone calls legally, but texting while driving is illegal in the state of Tennessee.

The law states it applies to anyone operating a vehicle that writes or reads a written message from a cellphone or hand-held palm pilot.

It's such an issue, Metro law enforcement officials are sure to stop distracted drivers when they can.

Officer Burl Johnson with the Aggressive Driving and Fatal Crash units saw a truck cross over the yellow line on Interstate 440 and pulled the driver over.

The driver reportedly admitted to checking emails.

"You know it would be a real shame if you got seriously injured or killed and you wrecked this beautiful truck, because you are paying attention to that phone and not what you are doing," Johnson told the driver.

He stated one of the first indicators that someone is texting and driving is weaving, almost like a drunk person being unable to maintain their lane of travel.

Distracted drivers don't just affect other drivers.  Pedestrians can also be seriously injured or even killed.

Vanderbilt University student Joseph Evans applauds the proactive measures that law enforcement officials take to crack down on the issue.

He told News 2 he was crossing the street once and came very close to a horrible accident.

"I was walking across the street. I had the light and the walk sign, and he started gunning it, and I looked at him and he was looking at his phone, and I had no time but to jump out of the way," Evans said, adding, "and he barely missed me."

Distracted driving is currently classified as a Class C misdemeanor.

Metro says they will continue to look for violators.

Click here to view the full report of distracted driving traffic crashes across the state.

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