If you make a habit of using your cell phone while driving, beware—a new law prohibiting you from holding or supporting that phone could cost you some money.
Beginning July 1, law enforcement can begin issuing citations for using a cell phone while driving, and the penalty carries some fairly stiff fines.
The first violation can result in a $50 fine. A repeat offense, or if the usage resulted in an accident, the fine jumps to $100.
If the violation is in a school zone when warning flashers are on, or road work zone where workers are present, the fine doubles to $200.
The bill excludes law enforcement, first responders, and utility workers and others using a phone to make an emergency call.
The new law does not limit the use of “hands-free” phone devices or Bluetooth, as long as the phone is not being held.
The new law applies to all drivers age eighteen and older. Young drivers already are prohibited from talking on the phone while driving, and the state already bans texting while driving.
Tennessee is the 19th state to ban cell phone use while driving.