Texting while driving off to a slow start

Monday, September 28, 2009 at 11:45pm

Either the new texting-while-driving law has scared motorists off the allegedly dangerous practice, or police are to a slow start in enforcing the violation.

Metro Police said last week that six motorists have been cited for texting while driving since the law took effect on July 1.

The legislature passed the new law this past session in the wake of Tennessee becoming the first state to have an apparent fatality from a motorist texting on his cell phone while driving. According to the bill’s sponsor Rep. John Lundberg (R-Bristol), texting is the No. 1 form of communication for people under the age of 24.

Earlier this year, a fatality in Giles Co. was attributed to the motorist texting, Lundberg said.

For a person to be violating the new law, the vehicle must be moving when the driver is texting on their cell phone. It does not apply while vehicle's are stopped at traffic lights or stop signs. It carries with it a $50 fine and court fees of no more than $10.

The state of Tennessee already had a law for “distracted driving,” which carries a $50 fine, but a $100 cap on court fees.


8 Comments on this post:

By: adron on 9/29/09 at 7:22

They are so busy on their cellphones to notice someone texting.

By: Loso on 9/29/09 at 7:36

I got pulled over for texting but all i had to say was i was lost and didnt know that area so all i was doing was scrolling through my phone log to call my friend for directions. He had no proof i was texting. Just that i was looking down. So he had no choice but to let me go. There was no proof at all i was texting LOL, jackass! This law sucks. Its just a way for the state to pocket more money. they thought they stumbled on a gold mine because they know texting is a new big thing so they figured why not proffit off it. Yea right!

By: joicash2 on 9/29/09 at 8:00

It make me sick that we have passed this law and nothing is being done to enforce this law. Over the weekend I was coming back from Knoxville in a major rain storm and some J----A was texting and almost ran me off the road. It was raining so bad you couldn't two feet in front of you and this fool choses to text while driving in the rain. Shut up and drive and pay attention to what your doing. The fines need to be more than just a mere $50.00 fine. I also urge everyone to go onto YouTube and watch the UK texting and driving video it's a major wake up call.

By: Schuss on 9/29/09 at 8:07

Rather than this unenforceable texting law, TN should have a "hands-free" law.

By: Alphadog7 on 9/29/09 at 9:34

In Nashville it seems making the law and getting it enforced are very different things. We have a great police force, but we have lax enforcement in certain areas. Not sure what the issue is, it might be resources. I would rather have them working on serious crime than traffic issues if we have to choose one, but in Nashville all you have to do is look how people park and drive here compared to other US cities to see what our lax enforcement is getting us. I am glad for the law, but the enforcement is lacking.

By: Alphadog7 on 9/29/09 at 9:34

+1 on the Hands Free law!!

By: girlygirl on 9/29/09 at 9:40

Loso, you really pulled the wool over his eyes. Go ahead and laugh now, you may have fooled the officer but if you are ever involved in an accident , especially with a loved one of mine, your cell phone records will be checked and your texting (if that is the cause of the accident) will be found out. You, or more likely your momma and daddy as I detect immaturity in the tone of your comment, will pay a price for it.

By: girliegirl on 9/29/09 at 10:13

It's just too easy to hold your BlackBerry low enough as to not be seen by others, yet the driver can easily scroll or view comments on the screen. But to be honest, there's little difference in the physical act of texting verses dialing a phone. Both options draw the driver's attention away from the road.