April 23, 2009
Texting while Driving bill receives final Senate
(NASHVILLE, TN), April 23, 2009 — The full Senate voted 22 to 6 today to approve legislation that would ban “texting while driving.” The bill, SB 393 sponsored by Senator Jim Tracy (R-Shelbyville), prohibits sending or reading text messages on public roads and highways while the driver is operating a motor vehicle in motion.
“Over two-thirds of those under the age of 24 who were polled have admitted to sending text messages while driving,” said Senator Jim Tracy (R-Shelbyville), sponsor of the bill. “That is a very scary proposition for the safety of our roads. Studies show that drivers of any age who text behind the wheel swerve out of their lane, with many running into head-on traffic. This is a basic safety measure that aims to protect the drivers and all others who travel our roads.”
Law enforcement says the bill specifically banning texting, will give them the tools to enforce banning this form of distracted driving. Under the legislation, a violation would be a Class C misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of $50.00. The legislation also prohibits the Department of Safety from assigning a point value for the driver’s license suspension or revocation for violation under the proposed law.
“Texting is an extremely dangerous form of distracted driving,” Tracy added. “When drivers take their eyes off the road to read or send messages, they pose a great danger to all who cross their path. Hopefully, this measure will provide the warning needed to help stop this practice and in turn, it will make our roads safer.”
The bill, which is sponsored by Rep. John Lundberg (R-Bristol) in the House, is scheduled for final approval by the full House of Representatives on April