CHATTANOOGA, Tennessee (WDEF)- Tuesday, Tennessee lawmakers passed a bill that could make Tennessee the 19th state to have a hands-free law.
The neighboring state,Georgia, has already seen a decline in traffic fatalities since they implemented the law in 2018.
” At first, I didn’t like it,” says Georgia resident Kevin Connelly ” I understand why it’s in place now. There’s been times when I’ve looked down and got myself in a pickle. So the law is there for safety and I abide by it.”
Like the Georgia law, drivers would not be able to hold or support any wireless communication device with any part of their body.
Drivers would not be able to send messages, watch or record videos, or email.
Some Chattanooga drivers are optimistic about the bill.
Ivana Henderson says, “Some people are under the influence sometimes, trying to text and drive, trying to Facetime. I think that It’s good to just cut it all out.”
What about drivers that use mounts on their windshield, dashboard, or center console?
They must have the mount in an area where it does not hinder their view of the road.
Drivers may use Bluetooth connectivity, an earpiece, a headphone, or a wrist device to communicate.
Karrigan Heningburg says, “Well really for me, I use Bluetooth a lot on my phone. I like checking the music all of the time. So that’ll really help me to not look at my phone and change the song and stuff like that.”
Aisha Hambrick who is a parent says, “I have a child, I prefer, no texting and driving. That keeps him safe and it just makes me feel more comfortable as a parent.”
The current law only bans drivers from holding their phones while at a school zone that has warning lights flashing.
This bill is an effort to keep accidents and traffic fatalities down.
The maximum fine amount will be one hundred dollars unless the offense occurs in a work or school zone, then fines will increase to two hundred dollars.
If passed, the law will go into effect January 1, 2020.