Many states have confronted a dilemma after they’ve passed texting and driving bans: how can you actually tell that a person is texting and not just dialing a phone number or looking down at their laps for some other reason? In California, we have no such problem, as both texting and talking on a cellphone at the wheel have been deemed illegal, but other states have struggled to figure out how to enforce the texting laws on the books.
The Tennessee Highway Patrol might hold the answer. For a few days now, they have been using a semi-truck in order to get a better view of offenders. From their tall perch aboard something called the “No Zone” 18 wheeler, a trooper can peer directly into a vehicle to determine whether or not a vehicle operator is texting. This also helps them figure out if a driver is drinking alcohol or neglecting to use his or her seatbelt.
Lest you fear that the idea of an 18 wheeler pulling over offenders poses a safety hazard of its own, rest assured that this particular truck will execute no such maneuver. Instead, the trooper will radio any offenses to their compatriots, and it’s thus up to a basic cruiser to pull the offender over.
The THP uses the truck for a multitude of functions, including dropping by schools for educational campaigns.