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New Tennessee Bill Criminalizes Drivers Who Talk on their Cell Phone, Debate Expected

April 15, 2019

TENNESSEE – According to an online news reports at and, a new bill in Tennessee seeks to criminalize drivers for using their cell phones when behind the wheel.*

HB 164 is a new bill that is going before the Tennessee House Finance Ways & Means committee which seeks to impose fines on drivers who use their cell phones when behind the wheel.

Last year, a bill became the law that makes talking on one’s cell phone a Class C misdemeanor when in a school zone. The purpose of HB 164 is to expand the law to impose penalties if a person is using their cell phone on any road, highway or street in Tennessee.  In essence, the bill seeks to make it a Class C misdemeanor for using a cell phone anywhere on Tennessee roads, not just in school zones.  

Similar to the school zone law, if the bill is passed, a driver using their cell phone when behind the wheel will face a fine of up to one hundred dollars.  If a driver is using a cell phone and causes an accident, the fine imposed could reach up to two hundred dollars.  

HB 164 was introduced on Monday, April 1, 2019 and if it is passed, the law would go into effect starting on January 1, 2020. 

A senator from Tennessee notes that there may be some debate regarding the bill because it has the potential to affect how most people act each day.  Regardless, the senator is sponsoring the bill which as noted herein, outlaws using a cell phone while driving. He said that they need to “work on some of the language,” however, the senator notes that it is time to update Tennessee law.

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Source: and

Category: Auto Accidents

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All information provided by our blogs is general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Consult a Montlick attorney for details about your unique situation.