Mt. Juliet Police Officers Target Distracted Drivers - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Mt. Juliet Police Officers Target Distracted Drivers

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by Steve Hayslip

MT. JULIET, Tenn. – Police officers in Mt. Juliet have been on patrol making sure drivers keep their hands on the wheel and not on the phone. City officials said they are getting aggressive in the fight against texting and driving.

Mt. Juliet police officers Jennings Taylor and Katie Collett have been cruising all over the city, hunting down drivers they see texting while driving.

"I don't think people realize just how dangerous it is. I think everybody thinks they're better drivers," said Collett.

Distractions are a leading factor in car crashes, and texting police said texting is the worst kind of distraction.

"When we drive, we need our hands, we need our eyes, and we need our brains to drive. So, when you're texting while driving, you take away your eyes, you take away the brain that should focus on the road, and you take away the hands," explained Mt. Juliet Police Information Officer Tyler Chandler.

In hopes of catching drivers in the act, Mt. Juliet Police got aggressive and has been sending spare officers out in a tall unmarked pick-up truck.

Two officers at a time, one drives, the other watches and they both can testify to the texting.

"We have to be able to articulate as a police officer that they actually are reading or writing a text message because, you know, people can actually go through and select a phone number and that's not illegal, but it's illegal to read or write a text message," added Chandler.

The fine for texting while driving in Mt. Juliet is $60. Officers said they're enforcing the state's distracted driving law which addresses texting. It allows drivers to make a call, but not read or write a text while the car is moving.

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