On July 1, a new law aimed at eliminating distracted driving will be enacted in Georgia.
House Bill 673, or the “Hands-Free Georgia Act,” was signed by Gov. Nathan Deal on May 1 to prohibit distracted driving and encourage technology-free travelling throughout the state.
Here is everything you need to know to avoid feeling the effects of the new law come July 1.
While driving, you can't...
Hold or support any wireless telecommunication device with any part of the body.
Write, send, or read texting of any kind in the form of text message, instant message, email or internet data.
Watch a video or movie on a wireless telecommunication device.
Record or broadcast video footage.
Get out of the seat or remove the seat belt to reach for device.
Use earpieces, headphones, or Apple Watch to talk.
Use voice recognition (like “Hey Siri” or “OK Google”) to text, email, instant message, etc.
Use Maps application and GPS, which includes entering location information while driving.
Use one button to activate voice recognition.
Use devices such as: “radio, CB radio, CB radio hybrid, commercial two way radio, subscription based emergency communication device, prescribed medical device, amateur/ ham radio device, in-vehicle security and navigation, or remote diagnostics system."
What are the penalties?
First offense: Fine up to $50 and one point on license
Second offense within two-year period: Fine up to $100 and two points on license
Third offense within two-year period: Fine up to $150 and three points on license
After these offenses, the license could potentially be suspended.
This law doesn't apply...
When reporting a traffic incident, medical emergency, fire, crime or road condition that poses a hazard.
To employees or contractors of utility service providers responding to a utility emergency.
To police, firefighters, emergency medical personnel, etc.
While the vehicle is lawfully parked (not just stopped).