New hands-free cell phone law begins July 1
JACKSON, Tenn.– “The purpose of the law is to cut down on distracted driving and which we hope will cut down the amount of people having crashes, being hurt, while they’re supposed to be driving but they’re paying attention to their phones,” Milan Police Chief Bobby Sellers said.
Public Chapter 412 is the newly amended law that started out as hands-free in school zones.
Under the new law, your phone cannot be in your hand while you’re driving. Before checking that text message or Facebook post, pull over and put your car in park.
If you don’t put the phone down, first time citations start at $50 and go up from there.
That price goes up to $200 if it causes an accident.
While the new law may sound strict, there are exceptions.
“Let’s say you witnessed a crime or you pull up on the scene of an accident and you’re calling 911 or to get help while you’re driving down the road, that is an exception to the law,” Sellers said.
There’s also an exception for first responders in an emergency.
Staying compliant with the new law is simple.
“Most vehicles today have Bluetooth you can use to make your calls or answer calls and talk on the phone while you’re driving,” Sellers said.
You can also get a mounting device for your phone, which can be found in many stores or online.