A new Tennessee law which bans handheld cellphone use while driving starts next month.
Tennesee bans handheld cellphone use while driving
The new law, which improves the current texting and driving law, imposes a $100 fine to drivers caught in violation, starting July 1. In case an accident happens due to the offense, the citation will be raised to $200 fine.
Under the current legislation, it is illegal to use handheld devices while driving in a school zone. The ban will be expanded statewide in the new law.
The state’s police department welcomes the new law saying that it is now easier to take action against violators.
Murfreesboro Police Department Captain, Gary Gensemer said that under the current law, it is not always easy to tell whether a driver is texting while driving. The new law, however, will make holding their phone an obvious act of using the handheld device while on wheels.
The police official said that in preparation for the new law, they make sure officers are well-versed on the law and that the city court is all set to manage the workload of initial violations.
The Tennessee Highway Safety office believes that awareness and education campaigns with local police departments are essential ahead of the transition.
What is the new Tennessee law all about?
The new law effectively prohibits drivers aged 18 and above from talking on the phone without a hands-free device such as a headphone device, earpiece, or wrist-worn device for a voice-based communication.
Drivers are also allowed to take a call provided their devices are mounted onto the dashboard.
The new law also allows drivers to start or end a phone call through a swipe on or a single button on gadgets. They can likewise send emails and text messages as long as they use dictation apps that convert voice to written communication.
Tennessee would become the 19th state to ban handheld cellphone use while driving.
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