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.