The East Ridge Police Department is partnering with the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security make drivers aware of the new “Hands Free Law” that takes effect July 1, 2019.
According to a press release by the department, this new law requires drivers to put down their phones and focus on the road. The new law makes it illegal for a driver to:
(a) hold a cellphone or mobile device with any part of their 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.
In 2018, there were over 24,600 crashes involving a distracted driver in Tennessee. A recent study listed Tennessee as having the highest rate of distracted driving deaths in the nation – nearly five times the national average.
East Ridge Police officers will be enforcing the new law starting July 1. The phone can wait, safety cannot.