An Overview of Tennessee's Texting & Driving Laws
Do you have a cell phone or smart phone? Most people do today, as they allow us to stay connected easily and conveniently. This new technology has not been without its flaws and somewhat unexpected consequences, however. Notably, use while driving has become one of the leading causes of distracted driving car accidents, which has quickly risen to become one of the three most common causes of car accidents. As a result, each state has passed laws restricting the use of a cell phone while driving, but these laws vary from state-to-state. Let’s take a brief look at Tennessee’s laws now.
Using a cell phone to make phone calls has very few restrictions in Tennessee, particularly compared to many other states which have banned the practice outright or restricted it to the use of hands-free devices only. The only people prohibited from using a cell phone to make calls behind the wheel are “novice drivers,” or those with a learner’s permit or an intermediate license. This includes both hands-free and hand-held devices.
Most states have banned the sending, or reading of text messages while driving, and Tennessee is no exception. All drivers are prohibited from texting while driving with a rare few exceptions, including police officers and emergency medical personnel, who are only permitted to do so while performing their official duties.
The law indicates one special case that has a full restriction on all cell phone use while operating a vehicle: school bus drivers. Bus drivers are prohibited from using a cell phone at all while there are children on board and the bus is in motion.
Fines & Penalties
Violating the texting and driving law in our state carries a fine of $50 plus court costs, which cannot exceed the maximum amount of $10. This fine doubles for novice drivers who are found guilty of using a cell phone at all while driving, bringing the fine to $100 plus a court fee. However, novice drivers who violate this law are then unable to apply for an intermediate or unrestricted license for an additional 90 days after they would have initially been eligible.
If you have been injured in an accident where the driver was distracted by their cell phone, seek legal counsel from a skilled Morristown car accident lawyer as soon as possible. When you trust your case to The Terry Law Firm, you can trust that your case is in the hands of an experienced and dedicated attorney who has your best interests at the forefront of all of their decisions. We are committed to helping clients obtain the outcome they desire to their case, and will continue to fight for your case as long as we need to in order to get the resolution you deserve.
To schedule your free initial consultation, call The Terry Law Firm today at (423) 586-5800.