Cherokee County Sheriff’s Department Cracks Down on Distracted Driving 

Staff Writer: Kate O’Brien

As many of you have probably noticed, the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office has started to majorly crack down on distracted driving on Towne Lake Parkway. Just in the last year, there have been 168 distracted driving accidents in Cherokee County since January 1st alone- so you can see why they would want to increase patrols on one of the busiest intersections in the county. “Cellphones have become part of our daily lives, and they’re a great tool, but they can also get you killed,” said Cherokee County Sheriff’s Lt. Mike Grier.

About a week prior to these heavy patrols, the Sherriff’s Office put out a number of signs on Towne Lake Parkway, warning against texting and driving of increased patrols in the area. However, instead of giving out tickets to those they pull over for distracted driving, they are giving out pamphlets filled with information on the laws concerning texting and driving instead.

The Sheriffs are hoping that these distracted drivers will “get the message before it is too late”. They are not just looking for drivers who are texting and driving- they are looking for any form of distracted driving. “We’ve had ladies putting on makeup, people eating, reading the paper,” said Lt. Grier.

A great number of drivers feel that what these sheriffs are doing is a great service to this community. Considering Towne Lake Parkway holds a great amount of traffic every single day-with two different high schools, one elementary school, and a large number of businesses and restaurants, there is always a great deal of traffic- making the safety of all of these people a priority is indeed a great service.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2015 alone 3.477 lives were taken as a result of distracted driving, 391,000 people were injured as a result of distracted driving, and approximately 660,000 drivers were reported to be driving distracted. 21% of teen drivers involved in fatal accidents were distracted by their cell phones. On average, 11 teens die every single day as a result of texting and driving.

After reading these statistics, it seems like a very good idea to crack down on distracted driving, especially so close to two different high schools, considering how much distracted driving affects teens. Lt. Grier says the message is simple. “Please put your phones down, drive safe, get to where you’re going and don’t hurt nobody,” said Lt. Grier.

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