Understanding the Tennessee Hands-Free Driving Law
Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of automobile accidents. While many things can distract drivers, the biggest culprit is the cell phone. You might think it’s not a big deal, you only looked down at your phone for five seconds to send a quick text. But it is a big deal. At 55 mph, taking your eyes off the road for five seconds is the equivalence of driving the length of a football field with your eyes closed.
On July 1, 2019, Tennessee began enforcing the new law making it illegal to hold your phone while driving. Under the new law, the following are illegal:
- Hold a cellphone or mobile device with any part of the body
- Write, send or read any text-based communication
- Reach for a cellphone or mobile device in a manner that requires the driver to no longer be in a seated driving position or properly restrained by a seat belt
- Watch a video or movie on a cellphone or mobile device
- Record or broadcast video on a cellphone or mobile device
Drivers are allowed to use GPS to navigate and if their phone is mounted on the vehicle’s dashboard, windshield or center console, drivers may use one swipe or tap to turn a feature on or off. The law does not apply to drivers using their phones to contact authorities during an emergency.
Tickets Will Cost You
A first-time violation of the hands-free law will cost $50, with subsequent violations resulting in higher fines. Violations in construction zones and school zones will also result in higher fines.
Dock Your Phone with ProClip
If you need to use your phone for navigation, music streaming or hands-free calling, a proper mount in your car can keep you safe and avoid the ticket. A mount from ProClip can keep your phone docked safely and out of your hands. Always remember to drive safely and that the text can wait.