The Chattanooga City Council voted 6-3 Tuesday to defer for two weeks an ordinance that would make texting illegal while driving. Councilmen Andraé McGary, Peter Murphy and Manny Rico all voted against the deferral.
The state already has a law on the books making texting illegal while driving, but Chattanooga officials said city judges have asked for a city ordinance so they also can hear cases.
Councilwoman Deborah Scott told council members Tuesday she had a problem with part of the city legislation because it appeared that, if someone were dialing a phone number, they could get into trouble.
"You can or cannot punch in a number?" Scott asked.
"You can," Assistant City Attorney Ken Fritz replied.
Councilman Russell Gilbert then stepped in and said he also thought the ordinance was confusing.
"It needs to be spelled out," he said.
Cliff has worked for the Times Free Press for five years and covers Chattanooga city government. He previously covered Rhea County, as well as transportation and growth and development in Southeast Tennessee. A native of Maryville, Tenn., Cliff graduated in 2003 from the University of Tennessee with a bachelor’s degree in communications with an emphasis on journalism. Before coming to Chattanooga, he was a crime reporter with Hernando Today, a supplement of The Tampa (Fla.) ...