Tennessee Bans Handheld Use of Cell Phones While Driving

Tennessee has joined Georgia and many other states in prohibiting handheld use of cell phones while driving.  T.C.A. § 55-8-199, amended effective July 1, 2019, prohibits drivers from operating a motor vehicle on any road or highway in Tennessee, while physically holding or supporting a cell phone, with any part of the driver’s body, except for using one button to initiate or terminate a call.  Drivers under the age of 18 are prohibited from handling cell phones for any purpose, and no one is permitted to “write, send or read any text-based communication”.  Exceptions are made for persons 18 or older to convert a voice-based communication to a written message or for navigation of the motor vehicle though use of a GPS device.

The full text of the new law can be accessed at https://legiscan.com/TN/text/HB0164/2019

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