Drivers across Georgia have likely heard about the new Hands-Free Georgia Act, which goes into effect beginning July first. Other states have implemented similar laws and have seen a 16 percent drop in fatal accidents caused by distracted driving. It is hoped that this new law will have a similar effect in Georgia.
This new law prohibits the use of cell phones and other mobile devices while on a roadway. In addition to forbidding people from texting while driving, this law states that drivers are not allowed to be holding their phone in their hands or touching their phone with any other part of their body while driving. It also prohibits all cell phone usage for teenage drivers and forbids all drivers from recording video, with the exception of continuously running dashboard cameras, or watching videos not related to navigation.
However, there are some exceptions to this new law. Drivers are allowed to use their phones provided that they are using a hands-free method. This includes using the speakerphone feature, an earpiece or wireless headphones when making or receiving phone calls or using a voice-to-text feature. People are also allowed to use GPS but are encouraged to have a passenger set it up or start it before beginning their drive. Streaming music or radio is also allowed, but drivers may not touch their phones to change songs or stations while driving.
Georgia authorities hope that this new law will help to significantly reduce the number of distracted driving accidents on roadways all across the state. However, those who have been injured in an accident could benefit from speaking with a local attorney. Victims may be entitled to compensation for medical costs or property damages caused by the accident.