Beginning July 1, drivers could face a fine up to $200 for using their cellphone while driving.
Drivers 18 and older will be prohibited from holding or physically supporting a phone while driving. Hands-free devices will be allowed, including “earpieces, headphone devices or a device worn on a wrist to conduct a voice-based communication,” the legislation says. Dashboard mounts will also be allowed.
The state Senate approved the ban 23-7 in April.
A driver’s first violation will result in a $50 fine. If the violation is the driver’s third offense or it results in a wreck, the fine jumps to $100. If the violation occurs in a work zone when workers are present or in a school zone when warning flashers are on, the fine is $200.
The bill excludes law enforcement, first responders and utility workers and others using a phone to make an emergency call.
Tennessee is the 19th state to ban cellphone use while driving.