New Tennessee law bans handheld cell phone use while on roads

Local News

MEMPHIS, Tenn. ( Beginning July 1, Tennessee drivers will have to put the cell phone down while behind the wheel or face fines.

The state tops the list of deadly crashes because of distractions, and officials hope the new hands-free driving law will drastically decrease those numbers.

I see people driving down the road like this and you can’t control your car like that, said driver Melissa Pope.

Pope is more than ready for the hands-free law to take effect. Tennessee drivers are five times more likely to be involved in deadly crashes due to a distraction. The Department of Safety and Homeland Security says Shelby County is number one in distracted driving crashes.

Every time you hear a beep or a buzz or a ding, it’s just human nature, said Shannon Pitner of Pitner Driving School. You want to take your eyes off the road, even for a second just to see who’s contacting you.

Come July 1st, the Hands-Free driving bill will make it illegal for drivers to hold a cell phone, send a message, and watch or record videos.

The first time you’re caught, could cost you $50.

The biggest difference now than when we started this business so long ago is the time that we spend on distractions in class, said Pitner.

Click here to read the entire bill.

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