Texting While Driving Already Illegal in Tennessee, Says AG

March 26, 2009

A Tennessee attorney general opinion says sending or reading texts while driving falls under a law prohibiting the unsafe operation of a motor vehicle.

Rep. Vince Dean, an East Ridge Republican and chairman of the House Public Safety Subcommittee, requested the opinion after hearing proposed legislation that would fine a person $50 for such behavior while driving.

The Senate sponsor of that legislation says he just wants to strengthen the current law.

However, the opinion says an officer already has the authority to cite a driver “whenever unsafe operation is caused by cell phone use, text messaging, applying cosmetics or any other activity that prevents the driver from operating the vehicle in a safe manner.”

The proposal passed the Senate Transportation Committee earlier this month.

Topics Personal Auto Tennessee

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