THP: ‘Distracted driving is an epidemic’

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- "Distracted driving is an epidemic."

Last year alone there were more than 7,000 distracted driving crashes in Shelby County. That accounted for just over a quarter of the distracted driving crashes across the state in 2016.

"We are not just talking about texting and driving. Yes, texting and driving is probably the ultimate as far as distractions, but anything that takes your eye off the road, hand off the wheel, or minds off of driving is a distraction."

The Highway Patrol hit the road in a marked bus, along with state troopers on motorcycles and in cruisers to prove that distracted driving happens everywhere.

"There was a Buick Lacrosse that passed right beside us again. This bus is marked up with Tennessee Highway Patrol state trooper and she's looking down at her phone texting, never saw us."

They hope this campaign will help bring awareness to the epidemic.

"She had her hand off the wheel and her eyes were not on the road, so you know her mind wasn't on driving."

Since at least 2013, the THP has used semi trucks to spot distracted drivers.

"We have got to stop it. This is what is causing these crashes and is causing people to get hurt and killed on these roadways in Tennessee."