Tennessee House Advances Hand-held Phone Ban While Driving

22 hours ago

Credit Andriy Popov, 123rf stock photo

The Tennessee House has advanced legislation banning motorists from holding cellphones while driving.

House lawmakers voted 53-38 on Wednesday after debating the measure at length. Supporters argued the bill is needed to enhance safety while critics warned the bill was a potential government overreach. The bill still must clear the Senate before it can go to the governor's desk.

If approved, violators would face up to a $100 fine. That amount could go up to $200 if the violation results in an accident.  The bill would take effect in 2020.

Sixteen states and the District of Columbia now prohibit all drivers from using hand-held cellphones, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Georgia passed a similar law last year.

Currently, hand-held cellphone use is banned in Tennessee school zones.