NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Put down your phone. A crackdown on texting and driving has Tennessee state troopers getting creative.
The #ThumbsDownTN campaign is taking place this April, which is Distracted Driving Awareness Month.
In 2017, there were almost 25,000 crashes around the state, in which distracted driving was a contributing factor. Of those crashes, 120 were deadly.
The Tennessee Highway Safety Office and Tennessee Highway Patrol are hoping to decrease traffic fatalities statewide. This week, they're starting the third "Distracted Driving Enforcement Bus Tour." Troopers will be inside large, tan buses marked with the THP logo. From inside those buses, troopers will be able to easily see inside cars to check whether drivers are texting behind the wheel. They can then radio other troopers in unmarked cars who can then make the traffic stop and issue a ticket.
Other law enforcement agencies are also spreading the word about distracted driving on social media using the hashtag #ThumbsDownTN.
Local law enforcement agencies that are participating include the Wilson County Sheriff's Office, Rutherford County Sheriff's Office, and Lewisburg Police Department.
Being ticketed for texting and driving will cost you. You could face a fine of up to $50.