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Law enforcement already issuing hands-free violations

Posted: 9:24 PM, Jul 11, 2019
Updated: 2019-07-12 01:38:15-04
States take action to stop distracted driving

NASHVILLE, Tenn (WTVF) — If you've picked up your phone while driving the past 11 days, you're breaking the law. Law enforcement has found dozens of you talking on your phone while it's in your hand while driving.

Lieutenant Bill Miller with Tennessee Highway Patrol says troopers are really trying hard not to write tickets right now. Instead, Miller says they are focusing more on informing drivers than writing tickets.

But that doesn't mean citations weren't already handed out.

"We've only written 129 actual hard copy citations for violations of the hands-free law," said Miller.

From July 1st through July 9th, 29 Nashville drivers were hit with a ticket for talking on their phone and driving. The most tickets coming from Fall Branch with 32, the least in Chattanooga with just six.

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"We know last year alone, there was just right at 25,000 crashes that were directly contributed to distracted driving," said Miller.

Distractions are one of top causes for crashes on Tennessee highways Miller says.

"We see it every day, we can stop countless vehicles and express to them what the hands-free law is about."

With the new law, you can't shuffle through music or take pictures while driving.

"If you're holding that phone or electronic device, you should expect to get pulled over," said Miller, you can also expect the warnings to run out soon.

"We're looking at Labor Day weekend and when we're looking to really go full force into the enforcement of the law," Miller said.

If you are caught talking on your phone while driving the first and second offense is $50. The third offense is $100 and if you're caught on your phone driving in a construction zone or school zone the fine is $200.