Get Ready Tennessee…. We’re Going Hands Free July 1

Beginning July 1, it’s illegal for Tennesseans to hold their cell phones while driving a vehicle. Beginning today, T.C.A. 55-8-199 has been amended and it affects every driver in the state. It is now illegal to operate a motor vehicle while holding or supporting a cellphone or mobile device with any part of his/her body. This new law doubles down on Tennessee’s previous law that restricted only novice drivers and texting while driving.

The goal is to eliminate distracted driving fatalities and injuries in the state by requiring drivers to put down their phones and focus on the road. A recent study published by ValuePenguin reveals that from 2015 to 2017, Tennessee had the highest rate of distracted driving deaths in the nation, at 7.2 distracted driving deaths per 10 billion vehicle miles. Tennessee’s rate is nearly five times higher than the national average of 1.49 fatalities per 10 billion vehicle miles.

If caught, drivers face a first-time fine of $50. If the violation is a subsequent offense or the violation results in an accident the fine is $100.00 and can climb to as much as $200.00 if the violation occurs in a work or school zone. “Hands Free Tennessee” is a campaign to educate Tennesseans about the new law. For details and full text of the new law visit their website at