Be prepared for the new Georgia cell phone law! Effective July 1, 2018, it will be illegal in Georgia to hold a cell phone and talk while driving. Instead, if you talk and drive, you must do so hands-free via Bluetooth or some other hands-free device.
Distracted Driving Statistics
According to the Georgia Department of Transportation, 1,549 people died on Georgia roads in 2017. That’s just over 4 people per day. Of those fatalities, 70% were caused by unsafe driving behaviors, such as talking or texting on a mobile device.
Hands-Free Georgia Act
The new bill, which is being referred to as the “Hands-Free Georgia Act,” states that while operating a motor vehicle no driver shall use a wireless telecommunications device (i.e., cell phone or laptop) or stand-alone electronic device (i.e., iPod or gaming device) in the following ways:
- Physically hold or support one with any part of his or her body;
- Write, read or send any text-based communication, including but not limited to a text message, instant message, e-mail, or Internet data;
- Watch a video or movie other than watching data related to the navigation of such vehicle; or
- Record or broadcast a video on such device.
Tips for Following the Georgia Cell Phone Law
- Drivers must only use cell phones and recording devices hands-free. If you want to make or receive a call do so using voice commands and listening devices via blue-tooth or some other listening device, such as an earpiece.
- Drivers must only send a text using voice-based commands – this is where the driver speaks his/her text and the device converts the message into written form.
- The law does not apply if your car is parked on the side of the road or in a parking lot.
- You may still use a cell phone to report a traffic accident, medical emergency, fire, crime, or hazardous road condition.
Drivers exempt from the law include emergency personnel while performing official duties, such as police, fire, EMTs and utility emergency vehicles.
Anyone convicted of violating the Georgia Code Section 40-6-241 shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and will be punished accordingly.
Injured in an Accident?
Gautreaux Law is a personal injury law firm located in Macon, Georgia helping injured people and their families throughout the entire state of Georgia. If you’ve been injured through no fault of your own, contact our office for a free one-on-one strategy session to talk about your case and to find out what your case is worth. There are no fees to you until we recover for your injury. 478-238-9758.