The Hands Free Tennessee Law—which prohibits drivers from using their phone while driving—became effective July 1, and many law-enforcement officers have given warnings to drivers caught in violation of the laws during the past two months. However, that grace period is about to end.
Officials with the Tennessee Highway Patrol announced Aug. 28 via social media that it will begin strict enforcement of the law beginning with Labor Day weekend.
This Labor Day weekend Troopers will begin strict enforcement of the Hands Free Law. We have noticed that many are volunteering to leave their phones alone. While many still are not. So leave the phones alone and drive safely. https://t.co/4ihWDYfy7D
— TN Highway Patrol (@TNHighwayPatrol) August 28, 2019
The law mandates that drivers are prohibited from touching phones or mobile devices with any part of their body as well as texting, watching or recording videos, activating or programming music, and/or reaching for a phone or mobile device. Drivers may use voice calls using Bluetooth technology through cars or earpieces.
The only exception to the law includes instances when a driver need to use a phone or mobile device to communicate with emergency personnel or law enforcement.
Those found in violation of the law can be fined $50 for a first time offense, according to the Tennessee Highway Safety Office. Subsequent violations carry fines of $100-$200, as well as suspension of a driver’s license for multiple offenses.