Police: More adults texting and driving than teens - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Police: More adults texting and driving than teens

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

Some are more discrete than others but distracted driving continues to be a problem on Chattanooga roadways.

"I see them coming into my lane and as soon as you look at them, they're holding a phone," Heather Prettyman said.

It's a scenario that drivers we talked to say plays out nearly every day and it's not just texting.

"It's e-mails, Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter or any number of things when it comes to distracting your job as a driver," Master Patrol Officer Joe Warren said. 

National research shows one in five drivers are not hands-free behind the wheel.

"I've done it at times but then a while back, I stopped." Jeff Burgess said, "I said 'You know, this is nonsense. There is nothing that is that important."

But what may surprise you is the age of those who are texting. 

Warren says he's seeing more adults using their phones behind the wheel over teenagers.

"I think a lot of that comes from the fact that as busy adults, we're always multitasking. We're also trying to become more efficient to get more things done in a day," he added.

Police can issue you a ticket, adding points to your license or charge you with failure to exercise due care. That comes with a fine that could cost you $130. 

CPD's traffic division, which is made up of 11 officers, issued 119 texting while driving citations last year. They wrote 168 tickets for due care.

It's not the penalty but the safety risk that has some drivers taking note.

"If I take a call, it will be because I've got the headset on, that way both hands are on the wheel and my vision is on the road," Burgess said.

"I think people think it can't wait and I wish they would just pull over or just wait until they get home and finish their conversation," Prettyman said.

In Georgia, laws are a little different. If you are under the age of 18, it's illegal to use your phone behind the wheel, period. That includes voice calls.

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