New Cell Phone Law Starts TODAY- What’s really Illegal?
ROBERTSON COUNTY TENNESSEE: (Smokey Barn News) – The day has finally arrived and it’s a game changer. We’ll all have to retrain ourselves but what’s really illegal?
Smokey Barn News has worked with officials to create a short list to keep it simple but luckily it’s not complicated.
The new cell phone law is so simple it’s generating a lot of questions, so what’s really illegal? In four words, (if you are driving) “put down your phone”
Let’s go over all the rules.
1) Can you hold your phone in your hand, lap, arm, balance on your head, while driving? No.
2) Can you reach for the phone and pick it up? No, not if the vehicle is moving.
3) Can you touch your phone? Not if you have to lean over to touch it.
4) Can you ever hold your phone while driving? Yes. In emergency situations, you can call 911, your doctor, fire department, EMS.
5) Can you pull over onto the side of the Interstate to make a call or text? No. To call or text, pull off the interstate via an exit or into a rest area.
6) Can you hold your phone at a stop light? Technically yes because you are not driving or moving but probably not a wise idea. The discretion of an officer allows them to make the call. If the traffic starts moving and you don’t because you are looking down, you just broke the law.
7) Can my passengers hold their phone to call and text? Yes, they can even use your phone as long as you never hold it.
8) Can you use the phone’s MAP while driving? Yes, just be sure to enter the address BEFORE you start driving and leave the phone in the dash or windshield mount, never hold the phone while driving.
9) If you take a photo of a police officer holding their phone while driving is it worth a lot of money? No Police fire/ems/ema and all first responders can use their phones to do their jobs just like you can during an emergency. But if they are off duty the law applies to them too.
10) What if I’m caught? Each time you’re caught you’ll get 3 points. We’re on a 12 point system, so on the 3rd ticket, you could lose your license.
11) How much are the fines? The first and second offense is $50, the 3rd $100. Get caught where workers are present or a school zone, you pay $200. But it gets worse, cities and counties can add on even more fees and they likely will.
12) What if I crash my car with my phone in my hand? In a crash with injury or death, the phone can be subpoenaed.
13) Is there a grace period? Yes, sort of. Officers will start officially issuing tickets after Labor Day (September 2nd) For now law enforcement is in an education period so if you do get pulled over the officer may just give you a warning. BUT you could still get a ticket if the officer wants to cite you. It’s better not to test law enforcement.
14) Can I peek at my phone in my shirt pocket when a text comes in? No. That requires you to take your eyes off the road, take a hand off the wheel and look straight down. Definitely, a No, get caught and you’ll get a ticket.
15) Can you use your Apple Watch to read a text message? No. To write send or read any text-based communication while driving is no longer legal.
16) Can I watch a movie on my phone while driving? No.
17) Can I record or broadcast a video on a cellphone or mobile device? No.