Laws concerning cell phone use while driving can be a bit confusing, particularly if you often travel to other states. According to September 2015 data from the Governors Highway Safety Association, 14 states, D.C., Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands all have restrictions on all drivers using handheld cell phones while driving. Others prohibit cell phone use by novice drivers or school bus drivers. While most states ban texting while driving, there are still some states where drivers can legally text and drive. As a driver in Tennessee, it is important to know the state’s specific laws concerning using a cell phone while driving.

  • Drivers with a learner’s or intermediate license are prohibited from using a cell phone while driving. This includes handheld as well as hands-free cell phone use.
  • School bus drivers are prohibited from using cell phones while the bus is in motion and children are on it.
  • There is not a handheld cell phone ban for other drivers.
  • It is against the law for all drivers to text and drive.
  • Exceptions to the texting while driving law are made when people such as state police officers, campus police, or emergency medical personnel are texting as part of their duties.
  • All cell phone laws are primary enforcement laws. This means an officer can pull you over for breaking the law, even if there is not another violation.
  • Novice drivers (those with learner’s permits or intermediate licenses) can be fined up to $100 for violating the law. They will also have to wait an extra 90 days to get their intermediate or unrestricted driver’s license.
  • Those who violate the texting law face a fine up to $50 and court fees, not more than $10.

Obeying these laws will make you a safer driver as well as help you avoid fines. Unfortunately, some people think they are the exception to the laws. If you have been the victim of a car accident where the offender was disobeying state cell phone laws or otherwise driving unsafely, contact us for a free consultation. Our Nashville car accident attorneys will help you understand your rights.