Ransom Note: Tennessee’s hands-free driving law creating confusion among Memphis leaders

Local News

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (localmemphis.com) – In tonight’s Ransom Note: why is this so difficult?

I’m talking about the new Tennessee state law that went into effect July 1 banning us from texting or putting a phone up to our ear while driving. It was implemented statewide, except in Memphis, where police say the Memphis City Council first needs to pass an ordinance mimicking the state law or else cops won’t have a specific citation to put down when they issue a ticket.

Except that maybe they don’t. The city council’s own attorney said Tuesday that’s not true. Allen Wade told police, go ahead, enforce it. If someone challenges it, he’ll be ready.

Pity the city council which met Tuesday to get the process rolling, only to leave the meeting more confused. Councilwoman Jamita Swearengen told Local 24 News reporter Mike Matthews, “I think we do not have a precise understanding of what’s going on.” Gee, ya think? Does anyone?

The Memphis City Council takes up the issue again in a couple of weeks.

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