• MPD could soon be able to enforce the hands free cell phone law

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    MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Memphis City Council will begin debating an ordinance Tuesday that allows Memphis police to ticket you for driving while talking or texting on the phone.

    Until the ordinance is passed, MPD can ticket you for the state law if you are caught driving and talking on the phone.

    It’s wrong, but many of us do it anyway. One hand on the wheel and the other on the phone. It’s illegal to talk, text, and drive in Tennessee after a new law started in July.

    A local driver, Alex Hayes, told FOX13, “I still see people with their phone when they drive, so I don't think it makes a difference."


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    Probably not in Memphis because the state law could not be enforced by Memphis Police until the city council changed the local ordinance.

    According to the ordinance, it does allow you to use talk using a Bluetooth or smartwatch, begin or end a call by touching only one button.  

    Drivers can use talk to text and their GPS system. The new ordinance states you can only do that if the device is mounted on the windshield, dashboard, or center console.

    All this doesn't matter if your under the age of 18 and behind the wheel.

    Hayes told FOX13, "The hands-free law was set in July, but I have not really seen a difference… Having a steeper fine would help solve the problem."

    Hayes told us the council needs to make one change. The current fine is just $50 if caught and it needs to be higher.

    Even if Memphis City Council decided to vote down the changes to the ordinance, Memphis Police can still ticket you driving, texting and talking on the phone.

    They would just give you a distracted driving citation.

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