New School-Zone Cell Phone Law Starts in January

Students and parents and all motorists have until January to adjust to a new state law that makes talking on a cell phone – with the device in hand – illegal in an active school zone.
Not only texting or reading texts, but also talking on a phone in your hand.
The Tennessean reports State Sen. Jim Tracy, who sponsored the legislation with state Rep. John Holtsclaw, said constituents and law enforcement have said “they don’t think that anybody ought to be using a handheld cell phone during an active school zone.”
The law states that it’s an offense, Class C misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of up to $50, for a person to knowingly operate a motor vehicle in any marked school zone in this state, when a warning flasher or flashers are in operation, while talking or texting on a hand-held mobile telephone while the vehicle is in motion.
However, the offense is not committed if the telephone is equipped with a hands-free device, for drivers 18 years of age and older.
A driver under age 18 is breaking the law by talking either using a hands-free or handheld device while driving through an active school zone.
Tracy said lawmakers contemplated pushing legislation that outlawed driving while talking on a handheld phone completely during the past legislative session. However, the state senator said like-minded legislators are waiting for feedback.