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Should the hands-free driving law be repealed?

Johnson City Press • Mar 2, 2020 at 6:00 AM

It’s difficult to tell whether Tennessee’s hands-free driving law, which makes holding and using a cellphone and other electronic devices a fineable offense, has made our roads safer.

The law was enacted last July by the General Assembly, and, without even a full year of data, judging whether it has reduced the number of crashes is tough.

Some local law enforcement officers, according to Press staff writer Jonathan Roberts, said they’ve noticed a decline in the number of drivers using devices while driving. In fact, officers among the several agencies serving Washington County reported writing more than 450 tickets for the new offense, but many now seem to be complying with it.

One legislator, however, is already trying to repeal the 8-month-old law.

Sen. Jon Lundberg, R-Bristol, filed a bill this legislative session to repeal the hands-free law, saying he doesn’t believe it makes our roads safer, and he believes it takes away residents’ fundamental liberties.

Lundberg said he’s not for legalizing texting and driving, only talking on the phone and driving. He’s also open to keeping the hands-free law’s provisions for active school zones.

Other than that, he said it’s been a governmental overreach.

We’ve already received a few letters about Lundberg’s bill, so we thought we’d ask for more opinions.

Should the hands-free driving law be repealed? Do you believe it’s making the roads safer? Are there changes you would make to it? Does it remove one of our fundamental liberties?

Send your correspondence to [email protected]. Please include your name, telephone number and address for verification. Letters may be no longer than 300 words and will be edited for grammar, style and length.

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