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  • Writer's pictureWRIL-FM

Hands-free now in effect

From WVLT -

The Tennessee hands-free law has gone into effect. The law makes it illegal to use a cellphone while operating a vehicle.

Make sure you know the restrictions and exceptions of the new law listed below.


(a) hold a cellphone or mobile device with any part of your body

(b) write, send, or read any text-based communication

(c) reach for a cellphone or mobile device in a manner that requires the driver to no longer be in a seated driving position or properly restrained by a seat belt,

(d) watch a video or movie on a cellphone or mobile device

(e) record or broadcast video on a cellphone or mobile device.

(f) the driver cannot touch the cellphone to activate or program music while driving.


a) The driver may use one button on a cell phone or mobile device to initiate or terminate voice communication. Voice-based communication may also be used to send a text message.

b) A driver is permitted to listen to streaming music that does not include videos on the screen of the cellphone or mobile device.

c) A driver is permitted to use a cellphone or other wireless device to communicate with law enforcement agencies, medical providers, fire departments, or other emergency service agencies while driving a motor vehicle, in the case of an emergency.

There are exceptions from the hands-free regulations including law enforcement, campus officers, emergency crews, utility services, and those who are lawfully stopped or parked.

Drivers who fail to follow the new law will get three points on their driving record for each violation. After twelve points the driver's license will be suspended.

Breaking the law can also get costly.

First offense - $50

Second offense - $100

Third offense - $200

Law enforcement and first responders have exemptions under the new law.

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