Georgia Officers Enforce Hands-Free Law
Am I allowed to use the GPS on my phone in Georgia?
Georgia’s new hands-free driving law took effect last month and Georgia patrol officers are fully enforcing it. Since its inception, Georgia officials report that over 1,000 citations have been issued statewide against distracted drivers. Georgia drivers should take note of the new hands-free driving law and take measures now to ensure they put down their phones and focus on the road ahead.
Distracted Driving Statistics
Distracted driving is a global issue, costing the lives of hundreds of thousands of people annually. In the United States, cell phone use leads to over 1.5 million car accidents annually, resulting in nearly 400,000 injuries, per the National Safety Council. Texting while driving is considered to be the most dangerous form of distracted driving, causing one out of every four car accidents nationally. Driving while talking on the phone is additionally a distractor, as it pulls the driver’s attention and hands from the road ahead.
Georgia’s Hands-Free Law
Georgia has traditionally only banned texting while driving. This year, the state passed House Bill 673, the “Hands Free Law.” The bill was signed into law by Governor Deal and officially took effect on July 1st. Per the law, the following activities are banned:
- Drivers cannot have a phone in their hand or hold a phone with any part of their body;
- Drivers can only make or receive phone calls using an earpiece, wireless headphone, speakerphone, or by connecting their phone to the vehicle. Use of the GPS is authorized;
- Drivers cannot text or read a text unless using voice based communications;
- Drivers cannot watch or record videos.
Georgia officers are strongly urging Georgia drivers to recognize the dangers of driving while distracted. Distracted driving occurs everywhere. Drivers must take steps to prevent themselves from ever driving distracted, but also need to remain vigilant and anticipate that distracted drivers may surround them. Officers emphasize that parking lots are one of the most dangerous spots for pedestrians and drivers, as drivers pull out while also attempting to make calls or respond to texts. Any driver in Georgia who is injured by a distracted driver should contact a personal injury attorney for assistance.
Posted in: Personal Injury