New Cell Phone Law for Tennessee Drivers
By Sophia West,
Effective July 1, 2019, Tennessee drivers will not be permitted to talk on their phone while driving without a hands-free device and can face up to $200 in fines.
In April, the bill passed the Tennessee Senate with a 23-7 vote.
“I’m afraid that we are going to encourage people to look at their phones under the view of the police. While we do have a lot of distracted driving accidents, there is already a law which covers this,” State Senator Dr. Joey Hensley said.
Drivers 18 years and older will be prohibited from conducting phone calls that are not using a hands-free device such as, Bluetooth earpieces, headphone devices or a device worn on a wrist to conduct phone calls.
The first offense can result in a $50 fine, the third offense or an accident resulting from cell phone use, can result in a $100 fine. If a driver is in violation in a school or road work zone when warning flashers are on and workers are present, the fine will be doubled to $200.
Additionally, law enforcement officers, first responders, utility workers and others making an emergency phone call will be excluded.
Tennessee is the 19th state to ban cellphone usage while operating a vehicle.