OPERATION INCOGNITO: Week-long crackdown on distracted driving kicks off in East Tennessee

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Law enforcement agencies across the state and beyond are working to crack down on distracted driving.

Monday, April 8 marked the first day of this year’s “Operation Incognito.”

The Tennessee Highway Safety Office (THSO) loading officers onto its bus to watch drivers on roadways from above.

The goal – to reduce distracted driving and lower the number of serious crashes caused by distraction.

Officials saying Monday that the effort is not about writing tickets, but more for drivers to understand the consequences of distracted driving. 

In Tennessee, texting while driving is illegal and can result in a hefty fine. But, THSO posits that there are more distractions for a driver apart from texting; things like eating, staring at the scenery, taking photos, sipping coffee, applying makeup, talking to passengers, talking on the phone, being tired – could all be considered distractions while operating a motor vehicle, especially at high speeds. 

For THSO, April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month. According to the agency, 3,166 people were killed nationally by distracted driving incidents in 2017. 

Year-to-date, there have been 240 deaths on Tennessee roadways. At this time in 2018, there were 239. The daily fatality reports are updated by Tennessee Highway Patrol’s TITAN Division.

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