This summer my home state of TN is trying to prevent distracted driving with this Bill.
I lovingly call it the Blacken your windows bill…
- It will help the window tint industry. Lets face it. Its time to just tint your windows and do what you want.
- It gives police more arbitrary reasons to stop and search. I am never in favor of that. Did I tell you I got pulled over Jan 2019 for reading a paper letter while driving 40mph? Billable hours…..
- It will hurt the poor. I don’t have a cellphone plan (don’t shame me yet). But I will definitely get stopped for reaching for my mirror link.
- Every time you look down, you will get pulled over.
- It will force even cleverer lower hip level button pressing. (Hasn’t that been proven to be more dangerous??)
- Handsfree requires voice which requires data. There is no offline voice recognition. There is no data in the hills of TN. What there?
How to improve it?
- Just take a picture of me and mail me a ticket. Its time for courts to allow user video as evidence. You know Google/Uber will legistlate vandalism via video when we start bullying their automous stuff. Why must we wait for Google/Uber to eliminate security-theater.
- Let me get an exemption sticker on the back of my car or plate exempting me. I havent had a violation in 10 years because of Speederaser… link
My thing with driving is: Let the insurance industry handle everything going on in cars. If you crash, you walk. Cops dont need more power.
PUBLIC CHAPTER NO.412
HOUSE BILL NO. 164
By Representatives Holsclaw, Freeman, Hazlewood, Powell, Dixie, Beck, Ramsey,
Jernigan, Halford, Shaw, White, Hurt, Helton, Coley, Gant, Ogles
Substituted for: Senate Bill No. 173
By Senators Swann, Jackson, Yarbro
AN ACT to amend Tennessee Code Annotated, Title 55, Chapter 10 and Title 55,
Chapter 8, relative to traffic safety.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF TENNESSEE
SECTION 1. Tennessee Code Annotated, Section 55-8-199, is amended by deleting the
section and substituting instead the following:
(a) As used in this section
(1) “Stand-alone electronic device” means a portable device other than a
wireless telecommunications device that stores audio or video data files to be
retrieved on demand by a user;
(2) “Utility services” means electric, natural gas, water, waste-water,
cable, telephone, or telecommunications services or the repair, location,
relocation, improvement, or maintenance of utility poles, transmission structures, pipes, wires, fibers, cables, easements, rights of way, or associated
(3) ‘Wireless telecommunications device” means a cellular telephone, a
portable telephone, a text-messaging device, a personal digital assistant, a
stand-alone computer, a global positioning system receiver, or substantially
similar portable wireless device that is used to initiate or receive communication,
information, or data. “Wireless telecommunications device” does not include a
radio, citizens band radio, citizens band radio hybrid, commercial two-way radio
communication device or its functional equivalent, subscription-based emergency
communication device, prescribed medical device, amateur or ham radio device,
or in-vehicle security, navigation, autonomous technology, or remote diagnostics
(1) A person, while operating a motor vehicle on any road or highway in
this state, shall not:
(A) Physically hold or support, with any part of the person’s body,
(i) Wireless telecommunications device. This subdivision
(bxlXAXI) does not prohibit a person eighteen (18) years of age
or older from:
(a) Using an earpiece, headphone device, or device
worn on a wrist to conduct a voice-based communication;
(b) Using only one (1) button on a wireless
telecommunications device to initiate or terminate a voice
(ii) Stand-alone electronic device;
(B) Write, send, or read any text-based communication, including,
but not limited to, a text message, instant message, email, or internet
data on a wireless telecommunications device or stand-alone electronic
device. This subdivision (bX1XB) does not apply to any person eighteen
(18) years of age or older who uses such devices:
(i) To automatically convert a voice-based communication
to be sent as a message in a written form; or
(ii) For navigation of the motor vehicle through use of a
device’s global positioning system;
(C) Reach for a wireless telecommunications device or standalone electronic device in a manner that requires the driver to no longer
(i) ln a seated driving position; or
(ii) Properly restrained by a safety belt;
(D) Watch a video or movie on a wireless telecommunications
device or stand-alone electronic device other than viewing data related to
the navigation of the motor vehicle; or
(E) Record or broadcast video on a wireless telecommunications
device or stand-alone electronic device. This subdivision (b)(1) does not
apply to electronic devices used for the sole purpose of continuously
recording or broadcasting video within or outside of the motor vehicle.
(2) Notwithstanding subdivisions (bX1XA) and (B), and in addition to the
exceptions described in those subdivisions, a function or feature of a wireless
telecommunications device or stand-alone electronic device may be activated or
deactivated in a manner requiring the physical use of the driver’s hand while the
driver is operating a motor vehicle if:
(A) The wireless telecommunications device or stand-alone
electronic device is mounted on the vehicle’s windshield, dashboard, or
center console in a manner that does not hinder the drive/s view of the
(B) The driver’s hand is used to activate or deactivate a feature or
function of the wireless telecommunications device or stand-alone
electronic device with the motion of one (1) swipe or tap of the driver’s
finger, and does not activate camera, video, or gaming features or
functions for viewing, recording, amusement, or other non-navigational
functions, other than features or functions related to the transportation of
persons or property for compensation or payment of a fee.
(1) A violation of this section is a Class C misdemeanor, subject only to
imposition of a fine not to exceed fifty dollars ($50.00). However, if the violation is
the person’s third or subsequent offense or if the violation results in an accident,
the fine is one hundred dollars ($1OO;; or if the violation occurs in a work zone
when employees of the department of transportation or construction workers are
present or in a marked school zone when a warning flasher or flashers are in
operation, the fine is two hundred dollars ($2001. Any person violating this
section is subject to the imposition of court costs not to exceed ten dollars
($10.00), including, but not limited to, any statutory fees of officers. State and
local litigation taxes are not applicable to a case prosecuted under this section.
(2) ln lieu of any fine imposed under subdivision (cX1), a person who
violates this section as a first offense may attend and complete a driver
education course pursuant to $ 55-10-301 .
(3) Each violation of this section constitutes a separate offense.
(d) This section does not apply to the following persons:
(1) Officers of this state or of any county, city, or town charged with the
enforcement of the laws of this state, or federal law enforcement officers when in
the actual discharge of their official duties;
(2) Campus police officers and public safety officers, as defined by $ a9-
7-118, when in the actual discharge of their official duties;
(3) Emergency medical technicians, emergency medical technicianparamedics, and firefighters, both volunteer and career, when in the actual
discharge of their official duties;
(4) Emergency management agency officers of this state or of any
county, city, or town, when in the actual discharge of their official duties;
(5) Persons using a wireless telecommunications device to communicate
with law enforcement agencies, medical providers, fire departments, or other
emergency service agencies while driving a motor vehicle, if the use is
necessitated by a bona fide emergency, including a natural or human occurrence
that threatens human health, life, or property;
(6) Employees or contractors of utility services providers acting within the
scope of their employment; and
(7) Persons who are lawfully stopped or parked in their motor vehicles or
who lawfully leave standing their motor vehicles.
(e) A traffic citation that is based solely upon a violation of this section is
considered a moving traffic violation.
(f) The department of transportation is directed to utilize the department’s
permanent electronic overhead informational displays located throughout this state to
provide periodic messages to the motoring public as to this section.
(g) The department of safety is directed to include distracted driving as part of the
instructional information used in driver education training.
SECTION 2. Tennessee Code Annotated, Section 55-8-207, is amended by deleting the
section in its entirety.
SECTION 3. This act shall take effect July 1 ,2019, the public welfare requiring it.
PASSED: April 30. 2019
HOUSE BILL NO. 164
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
SPEAKER OF THE SENA
BILL LEE, GOVERNOR
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