City Placing New Penalties On Use Of Cell Phones In School Zone And By Drivers Under 18

Sunday, October 14, 2018

The city is setting new penalties for use of cell phones in school zones. 

Drivers 18 and older may not use hand-held devices while in the zones, but they can be on their hands-free units.

Another section of an ordinance change would not allow those 18 and under to be talking on a cell phone while driving. That includes even if the device is hands-free.

The ordinance says:

Sec. 24-50. Prohibited use of hand-held mobile telephone in marked school zone;
prohibited use of mobile telephone with hands-free device by persons under 18.

(a) As used in this section:

(1) “Hands-free device” means a device that is designed to allow two-way communication via mobile telephone without the necessity of holding the mobile telephone, such as a speakerphone or headset; and

(2) “Mobile telephone” means a cellular, analog, wireless, or digital device that provides for voice communication or for both voice and data communication. “Mobile telephone” does not include a two-way radio or push-to-talk device.

(b)

(1) It is an offense for a person to knowingly operate a motor vehicle in any marked school zone in the city, when a warning flasher or flashers are in operation, and talk on a hand-held mobile telephone while the vehicle is in motion.

(2) It is a delinquent act for a person under eighteen (18) years of age to knowingly operate a motor vehicle on any road or highway in the city and talk on a mobile telephone that is equipped with a hands-free device while the vehicle is in motion.

(3) This section does not prohibit a person eighteen (18) years of age or older from operating a motor vehicle in any marked school zone in the city, when a warning flasher or flashers are in operation, and talking on a mobile telephone that is equipped with a hands-free device while the vehicle is in motion.

(c) This section shall not apply to the following persons:

(1) Officers of the state or of any county, city, or town charged with the enforcement of the laws of the state, when in the actual discharge of their official duties;

(2) Campus police officers and public safety officers, as defined by T.C.A. § 49-7-118, when in the actual discharge of their official duties;

(3) Emergency medical technicians, emergency medical technician-paramedics, and firefighters, both volunteer and career, when in the actual discharge of their official duties;

(4) Emergency management agency officers of the state or of any county, city, or town, when in the actual discharge of their official duties; and

(5) Persons using a mobile telephone 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 threatens human health, life, or property.

(d) A violation of subsection (b) is punishable by a fine not to exceed fifty dollars ($50.00) for each offense.

(e) Any person violating this section is subject to the imposition of court costs; provided, that the court costs shall not exceed ten dollars ($10.00). No state or local litigation taxes are applicable to a case prosecuted under this section.

(f) A traffic citation that is based solely upon a violation of this section is a non-moving traffic violation and no points shall be added to a driver record for the violation.

 


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