One day hands-free: Law enforcement heavy on warnings for now


Most Tennessee law enforcement agencies say they’re sticking to giving drivers warnings for now when it comes to the state’s new “hands-free” device law.

Johnson City Police Chief Karl Turner said the agency issued three citations and five written warnings on Monday for drivers distracted by a cell phone.

PREVIOUS STORY: Ride-along with Elizabethton police as they enforce Tennessee’s new law.

Carter County Sheriff’s Office Public Information Officer Thomas Gray said deputies didn’t issue any citations yesterday, adding that some deputies planned to give warnings for a couple of weeks to give drivers time to adjust to the new law.

READ MORE: Tennessee “Hands Free Law” goes into effect today

Officials with Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office, Greene County Sheriff’s Office and Hawkins County Sheriff’s Office reported no citations yesterday for the new law, though some reported verbal warnings from deputies.

News Channel 11 rode along with Elizabethton Police Monday for the first day of the new law, but officers didn’t issue any tickets to drivers pulled over for cell phone use. Most said they were unaware of the new law when pulled over.

Lawmakers passed the law this year in an attempt to crack down on distracted driving in the state. Drivers may still use Bluetooth to talk on the phone while driving.

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