Parents and students in Tennessee will soon need to think twice before picking up the phone while driving. Starting January, a statewide cell phone ban will be enacted inside of school zones. The ban will not only apply to taking phone calls, but also texting and holding a phone, reports Knoxville News Sentinel.
“If you are holding a phone up to your ear while driving in a school zone, it’s illegal [next year],” explained Dickson County High School resource officer Jeremy Wall.
The bill was sponsored by state Sens. Jim Tracy (R) and John Holsclaw (R).
“You should be concentrating on reducing your speed limit and paying attention. You have children walking and a lot of traffic around,” said Tracy, condemning cell phone use in active school zones. “Eventually, as technology gets better, everything will be hands free.”
Tracy defended the bill by saying that many of his constituents were interested in legislation to attempt to combat the use of cell phones while driving.
Breaking the law will result in being slapped with a Class C misdemeanor and fine of up to $50. If a driver is over 18 years of age, they may use a hands-free setup to talk on the phone. Younger drivers can’t use their phones at all.
The video above is of a news segment from Feb. 2017.
In it, the WTFV team detailed a report for the National Safety Council that said Tennessee is the state with the most cell phone-related road fatalities in America.