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RightLane Rides Distracted Driving Bus

We rode the bus! A special bus. A bus painted like a big Tennessee Highway Patrol car-- a huge rolling billboard and marketing effort to find and ticket Distracted Drivers.

It was a rush! A THP Lieutenant and a Metro Police Sergeant radioed their patrol cars to stop Texting offenders as we pointed them out. It was like “shooting fish in a barrel.” There were SO many motorists going at least 70 mph while texting/scrolling and we were in a tall bus with a spectacular view of the mayhem.

Funniest thing? Being flipped off by a trucker who was using his cellphone while traveling through the downtown loop. Note that’s against the law for commercial drivers to handle their phones while driving. Yep, he got a ticket.

Most bizarre thing? A young lady was spotted speeding around the same point with her bumper flapping in the wind. And you guessed it, she was scrolling through her phone. The motorcycle officer who pulled her over explained later that she was on the phone with her insurance company about the previous bumper-damaging wreck. Seems the insurance company asked her to scroll through their app to retrieve a piece of information. That phone call and search cost her about $250 with a Due Care ticket.

Texting in Tennessee is against the law and if officers catch you doing that, you’ll get a $50-60 ticket. But officers can use the Due Care Law which is closer to $250-300 in costs.

Solution? Drive. Concentrate on that. Don’t use your phone until you can safely pull over. Then, when you do use your phone, concentrate on that. Simple. Why do we go out of our way to complicate life?

This bus will travel around Tennessee to promote a state initiative to curb Distracted Driving. Stay focused on the road.

Sharon Winter and Donna Bayless of RightLane ride the THP bus.

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