The murder rate is up in Tennessee for the second year in a row but the state highway patrol has a solution: spending hundreds of dollars per hour to catch drivers who are texting.
It’s been going on for a while, but Tennessee is still eighteen (or at least ten) wheels-a-rollin’ against people with the temerity to send messages about ravioli and formuoli and whatnot from behind the wheel. There’s some mild irony in play here: The federal government, in its eternal wisdom, doesn’t much care for Tennessee’s texting-and-driving law, because it isn’t strict enough. The feds want the state to bust drivers who endanger lives by texting when the car is not in motion. Why that’s dangerous to anyone isn’t quite clear. I suppose that if you were texting while stopped and the light turned green and you missed it as a result, and the guy behind you was a top-ranking member of the Los Angeles Crips, somebody might be in danger.
The good news for daredevils who want to stare Death directly in the face is that the THP semi-truck is well-marked, including “State Highway” on the mandatory tinted-Lexan bug deflector, so if you get caught it’s probably a sign that you really aren’t paying enough attention to the road.