Dickson County Sheriff’s Office Says Thumbs Down to Texting & Driving

The Dickson County Sheriff’s Office will be partnering with the Tennessee Highway Safety Office (THSO) to
promote the third annual Thumbs Down to Texting and Driving campaign during the month of April. April is
nationally recognized as Distracted Driving Awareness Month. Agencies participate in the campaign by
promoting safe driving habits and increasing awareness about the dangers of distracted driving. Throughout
April, the THSO will use #ThumbsDownTN to promote the campaign via social media.

Sheriff Jeff Bledsoe stated, “Distracted driving is having the same consequences as driving while impaired.  We are seeing friends, neighbors, and loved ones injured and killed as a result of distracted driving.  We need your help. I’m asking you to make a commitment to drive responsibly with no texting while driving.  Encourage and ask others to help as well.  We can make a difference, and by working together we will have safer roadways, avoid many injuries, and save lives.”

Texting and driving in Tennessee can result in a $50 fine for a driver of any age. For young drivers who have
Learner’s Permits or Intermediate Restricted licenses, cell phone use of any kind while driving is illegal.
Preliminary data reveals that in 2016, Tennessee experienced its highest number of known distracted-driving
crashes at 24,743. These crashes resulted in the deaths of 58 people. Across the state, approximately 28
individuals on average are injured each day in a crash caused by a distracted driver. Nearly twelve percent of
all crashes statewide last year were caused by someone who was driving distracted.

“Five seconds is the average time your eyes are off the road while texting,” said Vic Donoho, Director of the
THSO. “At 55 miles per hour, that’s enough time to cover the length of a football field. Every distracted-driving
crash is preventable. We ask Tennesseans to stay focused while driving, because it could be a matter of life or
death.”

For more information, or to learn more about texting and driving, visit www.tntrafficsafety.org/distracteddriving.