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.
Young drivers already are prohibited from talking on the phone while driving and the state already bans texting while driving.
Tennessee is the 19th state to ban cellphone use while driving.