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Tennessee troopers jump in trucks to catch texters

| April 09, 2013
In this photo from the Chattanooga Times Free Press, Tennessee State Trooper pilots the truck used by highway patrolmen to look for motorists breaking driving laws.

In this photo from the Chattanooga Times Free Press, Tennessee State Trooper pilots the truck used by highway patrolmen to look for motorists breaking driving laws.

The Tennessee Highway Patrol has taken to trucks to spot car, pickup and minivan drivers violating day-to-day rules like not wearing a seatbelt, texting while driving and, according to an article from Knox News, drivers with “beer can tabs popped open.”

The article says the Tennessee Highway Patrol owns the truck used in the expeditions, and the officer driving the truck relays information of those outside the law to troopers in patrol cars, who track them down and issue the trickets.

Moreover, a whopping 97 troopers in the state of Tennessee have a CDL and are capable of manning the truck, which is being driven as part of the state’s “Stay Alive on 75” program aimed at reducing crashes on the state’s highways by increasing awareness of what causes crashes.

For more on the story, see the Knox News’ article.

What do you think about THP using the truck to give them a better vantage point? Drop a comment below.


  • Mike Jones

    Im worried about their CSA Score.

  • dac011

    yea, lets spend 100K buying trucks so they can write tickets.

  • Mike Jones

    If they are peeking around in other vehicles they are NOT focusing on DRIVING…they are engaging in Distracted driving..these cases should be thrown out of court..soon one of these wanna bee truckers will have a wreck.

  • Barney

    Too bad they can’t find something better to do with their time than chase petty misdemeanors in a rig that get 7mpg and cost??? to operate and maintain.

  • kiko kika

    well Mr. trooper sir its unden your nose MVT .Mesilla valley transportation doing po po under your state can you fine out your self witch one is sheating your state how about that for a pushing the law you already in the truck any way

  • handyman

    i drive truck everyday and its about time they crack down on this andthe drinking and driving see it every day great job

  • jim stewart

    I don’t know? I have mixed reactions to this basically because of memories back in the seventies when Maryland had a truck nicknamed mother goose that entrapped truckers on 301 by enticing them to hammer down with CB chatter acting like a trucker on the front door. Maybe this time a good thing if done correctly in 2013. They’ll certainly get a good taste of the idiot four-wheeler who intentionally likes to cause a trucker headaches with aggressive driving. Anyone remember mother goose or am I the giving my age up? I bet current Overdrive reporters never heard of it but mother goose did gain enough fame that there was a story published once in Overdrive when Mike Parkhurst owned the magazine at that time.

  • vocalone

    Bravo!!! Now go after that darn 4 wheeler that was following too close to me, then passed me just to cut in front of me and slow traffic down to under the speed limit. What up with dat? Don’t they call that one lucky customer for three tickets (1) following too close, (2) cutting off another vehicle/reckless driving, and (3) impeding the normal flow of traffic? That should be an automatic $1,500 fine for first offense, second offense 90 day license suspension, and a third offense a $5,000 fine, 60 days in jail, and one year license suspension. That’s what I’d call “really staying alive on 75.”

  • Hooty

    I think it is stupid and dangerous, as dangerous as texting. This officer needs to be looking where he is going and not checking out the seat covers of other vehicles. This makes him just as dangerous as the ones he is trying to catch.

  • Hooty

    This is exactly the problem. Mike, you have it correct. They are just as dangerous or more so being they are in a truck and not watching what they are doing. I spent 20 years on the road and seldom ever looked into other cars.

  • vocalone

    @handyman -u must have a CDL and drive on private property with no traffic and nothing to look at. And for sure you ain’t never driven in Cali and been flashed by Cali’s finest boobies and still keep the truck rolling straight with no accidents!! Every single truck driver looks down and sure have seen Mrs. Cat airing out too… LOL!!!

  • southern shaker

    well i see everyone talking about all these 4 wheeler but no one saying a thing about the new driver;s out here doing the same thing ,hell just go across I 40.over in ark around the 202 mile maker down to the 193 mile maker.ever week over there a trucker has ran in the back end of a 4 when all is say an done the driver was texting on the phone an never check up .but i also agree with alot of what been said on here an yes mr stewart mother goose still ring a bell with me .so i guess i also am tell my age of being out here on the road for the last 36 years .seen alot of change;s in trucking over the years.never in my life would i think it would trun out like it is now,back in the day if a trucker was n the side of the road their would be 10 truck’s on the side with the driver an someone would have what he need;ed to get him back on the road .now if every joe for them the hell with the broke down driver.their use to be a code between all driver;s out here but now .well i just leave it at that.all the old driver that been out their for a time know;s what i mean.well hope all has a bless day out there ,.

  • Dan Leidal

    I hope they are using a passenger to do the police work, and using the driver to drive the truck only…

  • Frank Dee Dee Carr

    They also get to see how traffic is as a truck driver, not just a trooper in a squad car!!! They can see how the other half lives!

  • Ken Nilsen

    Amazing, they finally do something good and 11 of the first 14 comments want to hang the troopers out to dry, simply amazing the number of simplistic individuals on here.

  • Bigfoot3910

    I’m with you on this one! How many times have we heard “they ought to see what we see” – and now that someone is trying it, they still get slammed???

  • Carl Hollis

    Yippeee! way to go THP. I am behind you 100% and you are welcome to drive my truck anytime. I will be most happy to ride the jump seat with any THP officer at the wheel.

  • Christopher Walker


  • gary d

    anyone who runs I 75 on a routine basis knows the four wheelers all are running around 75 to 80 mph. money would be better spent on lazer and radar traps. when will they govern all cars to 70 mph?

  • James T

    oh how i long for those good old days sorry sir we have to move on how many trks out there dont have some kind of communication device in them? how many dvrs are pulling over for non emergency reasons? when was the last time you pulled over to check on a trk along side the road? had 2 quit (chking on trks)many yrs ago as it allmost got me killed please be thankful for the great years you had and take my thanks for your time and service to the industry i have been forced into this job and with the country going in the direction it is i will probably die doing this job but please as a disabled vet doing a job i love to hate this one thing i do know nothing good lasts forever some one said it better then me quote it is better to have loved and lost that love, then never to have loved at all end quote James T

  • Hoop68

    i think its great. Distracted driving is becoming a huge problem. People are getting hurt and killed daily because of it. More power to TN for Stepping up and raising the bar.

  • Jim Cox

    nice. I like there Pete. I have seen it on a couple of occasions. If its the one they are driving on the road or not I do not know. The one I saw is same paint scheme as there Patrol cars. I always like those Colors. Especially Large scale like on there Peterbilt. If you need a driver let me know. Make much better Money working for the State of Tn. I am sure. The money out here is not worth it anymore.

  • Audieleon Green

    Don’t just jump in, sit there an drive 11 hrs. straight

  • Guest

    I think it is a great idea. I would like to see it in every state. If you are driving safely, not holding a phone to you ear or texting, by are you so worried. Just drive!

  • michael bechara

    i’m with ya there driver .

  • Lane1131

    I don’t feel they should be able to carry a firearm in the truck! After all that is a federal regulation…

  • Kelby Nance

    What will he do when a car slams on breaks in front of him and turns to go to the Dollar store!! Good idea though.

  • Aegirson Enterprises, Inc.

    Hell Yeah! If I had a nickel for every time some 4-wheeler passed or cut me off while texting and swerving all over the road I could retire from the road.
    Yesterday, I had to lay into my Son when he started texting on the way home from the truckstop.
    I think basic fines should be increased. Start at say $250 for the first time. $500 the second time. And $1,000 plus lose your drivers license for 1 year on the third offense.
    Finally, I wonder, are the insurance companies getting this ticket data?

  • Jay

    Has anyone checked these policemen for a health certificate or Class A licenses?? I drive almost all Metro and find texters (you can’t miss them) to be one of the biggest dangers out there if not from their on actions but also from the road rage the traffic jams they cause brings about

  • Aaron

    ok first , i do think distracted drivers are a problem, both for truckers and 4 wheelers a like. from a trucking image though having the “Popo” riding down the road in a big rig may not bring us trucks back into the positive light most of us so desire. Perhaps these fine officials should be a little more attentive(not that they arent) to the surroundings, you can alway tell when someone is looking down at a text and not paying attention to the road. and i do remember talk about mother goose.

  • Rudy Kazoodie

    There is NO federal regs prohibiting commercial drivers from carrying a fire arm!!! strives to maintain an open forum for reader opinions. Click here to read our comment policy.