Tennessee Considers Implementing “Hands-Free” Law Similar to What Georgia Passed in July 2018
CHATTANOOGA, TN – An online news article published by News Channel 9 ABC reports that Tennessee lawmakers are proposing a “Hands-Free” law that is much like what Georgia passed in July of 2018.*
The Tennessee legislature has proposed a bill that would make it illegal to have a phone in your hand while driving. The proposed bill is very similar to the “Hands-Free Georgia Act” which went into effect July 1, 2018. Georgia’s new laws have proven to be effective. Between July 1, 2018, and March 28, 2019, Georgia law enforcement officials have issued 12,646 citations for violating the new hands-free laws.
If Tennessee lawmakers pass the proposed hands-free bill and the Governor signs the bill into law, then the maximum fine for violating the hands-free law would increase to $100. If the violation results in an accident, the maximum fine goes up to $200. The maximum amount of court costs will increase to $50. Additionally, a violation of a hands-free law will be considered a moving violation, making the crime more serious than it currently is. If passed, the law would take effect onJanuary 1, 2020.
Will New Hands-Free Laws Save Lives?
A substantial number of drivers talk on the phone or text while driving, and a growing number of accidents have been blamedon distracted driving that involves the use of a phone in the driver’s hand. While there are many other ways to be distracted while driving aside from the use of a phone, Tennessee’s proposed hands-free law will undoubtedly cut down on the number of deadly accidents. If drivers cannot have phones in their hands while operating their vehicles, they are more likely to pay attention to the road. Also, the enhanced penalties resulting from a hands-free violation under the proposed law will likely deter drivers from repeat violations in the future.
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