Hands Free Tennessee Law

Hands Free Tennessee Law – Here is info sheet on this new law that takes effect July 1, 2019

Hands Free Tennessee Law

The Hands Free Tennessee campaign educates the public about the state’s new “Hands Free Law,” known as Public Chapter No. 412. This new law requires drivers to put down their phones and focus on the road.


What is the Tennessee Hands Free Law?

PC0412 makes it illegal for a driver to:

  • hold a cellphone or mobile device with any part of their body.
  • write, send or read any text-based communication.
  • reach for a cellphone or mobile device in a manner that requires the driver to no longer be in a seated driving position or properly restrained by a seat belt.
  • watch a video or movie on a cellphone or mobile device, and
  • record or broadcast a video on a cellphone or mobile device

Can I still talk on my cell phone while driving?

A driver is permitted to use an earpiece, headphone device or device worn on a wrist to conduct voice-based communication. The driver may use one (1) button on a cell phone or mobile device to initiate or terminate voice communication. Voice-based communication may also be used to send a text message.

Can I use my cellphone while driving in the case of an emergency?

A driver is permitted to use a cellphone or other 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 human health, life or property.

What are the penalties?

Violation of this law is a Class C misdemeanor. A traffic citation based on this violation is considered a moving violation. Fines for violations for the law include:

$50.00 = First Time offense
$100.00 = Third-time offense or higher, violation results in a car crash
$200 = Violation occurs in a work zone while workers are present, violation occurs in a marked school zone while flashers are in operation.

For more information visit


Compliments of the Tennessee Department of Safety & Homeland Security and Tennessee Department of Transportation.

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