Beginning July 1, the Morristown Police Department will begin enforcing a new prohibition against using hand-held telephones while driving, the police department announced Monday.
“The Morristown Police Department is making citizens aware of the new law in order to reduce traffic crashes, change habits and keep Morristown’s roadways safer for all drivers and their families,” said Morristown Police Chief Roger Overholt.
First- and second-offense violators will face a $50 fine. The fine for third and subsequent offenses is $100. The fine is $200 if the violation occurs when workers are present or in a school zone.
In July 2018, Tennessee changed cellphone laws banning drivers under the age of 18 from using a cellphone while driving. No motorist can legally use a hand-held device while in a school zone. Previous laws banned drivers from texting and driving.
The legislation provides that those over age 18 may still use hands-free devices including “earpieces, headphone devices or a device worn on a wrist to conduct a voice-based communication.”
Exemptions to the law include law enforcement officials in performance of official duties, first responders, utility workers and drivers using their hand-held device to make an emergency calls.