Keeping up with changes in your state’s law will make you a well informed and updated citizen. It’s also important to know new laws so you don’t break one and get hit with hefty fines. For some areas of the law, updates are always being made to make Georgia citizens safer, like distracted driving.
Distracted driving is a major issue that has caused a lot of pain in the past. People drive while they’re using their cell phones and can critically injure others around them. Georgia’s change in driving laws takes steps to reduce the amount of distracted driver accidents and keep more people safe.
What’s the New Distracted Driving Law?
Georgia is taking strides to reduce the amount of distracted driving accidents with the bill HB 673. It mainly prohibits actions that will distract a driver when they’re operating a motor vehicle. This law was put into effect July 1, 2018. Under this law, drivers are going hands-free. Georgia drivers cannot hold or support the following devices while operating a vehicle:
- Cell Phones
- Any Wireless Devices
This bill faced no opposition when it was passed into law with a final vote of 55-0.
There are some instances where people can use technology while driving. If people have hands-free technology, they can use that to send text messages or speak to someone on the phone. They can also use a GPS system, but it has to be hands-free. Hands-free doesn’t only apply to not holding the device in your hand. This also means you can’t balance the phone in your lap or hold it between your ear and shoulder. Penalties for violating this law include a $50 fine for the first offense and $100 for the second.
If you’re lawfully parked, which means you’ve pulled over and aren’t at a stop sign or stop light, you can use technology. Instances of traffic accidents, medical emergencies, or crime also allow the person to use their cell phone.
Some groups of people are exempt from this law due to the nature of their job. Cops, firefighters, emergency medical technicians, and ambulance drivers may need to use technology to communicate about a current emergency.
Putting these restrictions on drivers will keep them attentive and away from the temptation of their phone. Without worrying about a cell phone, drivers will have a better chance of having two hands on the wheel and their eyes on the road, which will make them prepared for sudden stops or cars switching lanes in front of them.