Stop Illegal Distracted Driving Enforcement Tactics

Stop Illegal Distracted Driving Enforcement Tactics

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John Aldrich started this petition to Governor Bill Lee and

On Monday, April 8, the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office and the Clarksville Police Department will join the Tennessee Highway Safety Office (THSO) to launch Operation Incognito (OI) statewide. The OI campaign was developed last year to evolve Tennessee’s statewide distracted driving enforcement and education initiative, known as “the bus tour.” OI will also promote National Work Zone Awareness Week, which occurs April 8 – 12.

As stated by THSO Director Vic Donoho, The primary focus of Operation Incognito is to reduce distracted driving, serious injury crashes, and fatalities with a secondary focus on promoting awareness for high-risk construction zones across Tennessee.

While I fully support the enforcement of traffic laws, the method by which these laws are to be enforced presents a violation of the public's right to freedom from illegal searches as protected by the 4th Amendment.  The 4th Amendment reads...

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

The THSO describes that law enforcement officer will be conveyed on buses which will have tinted windows from which law enforcement officials are able to look down into the surrounding traffic, including inside vehicles of every day drivers.

It is well known that law enforcement officials must first have probable cause to conduct a search, even if it is plain view.  There must be a reasonable belief that a crime has, or is being committed.  This enforcement tactic assumes probable cause where none exists and places a suspicion of guilt upon the everyday citizen, whom at this point has committed no crime nor has given any indication that they intend to commit a crime.  As such, it becomes an illegal search.

I call on our leaders to halt, or at the very least delay the enforcement of this policy initiative, until such time as a comprehensive legal review is performed to establish the validity of such guilt presumptive action.

We the people of the state of Tennessee deserve to live secure in our rights to be free from unreasonable search and suspicion.

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