Ordinance to make texting while driving illegal in Chattanooga deferred

Ordinance to make texting while driving illegal in Chattanooga deferred

September 14th, 2011 by Cliff Hightower in News

Deborah Scott

Photo by Patrick Smith/Times Free Press.

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.

Connect with the Times Free Press on Facebook