Many of us can openly admit that we’ve driven while being distracted—whether that means driving while tired while scolding your kids, or when using a cell phone—leading to increased chances of getting into a car accident. In Georgia, state officials are trying to mitigate the situation by passing a new law that they believe will keep drivers and pedestrians safe.
This has separate consequences for those who are driving without a license, those with outstanding warrants or who are undocumented. If you are seen breaking the law, you will be pulled over; but instead of getting a ticket, you could be placed in removal/deportation proceedings.
Beginning on July 1, 2018, the Hands-Free Georgia Act goes into effect. While texting and driving has been illegal since 2010, this law is much more comprehensive in its restrictions. But what exactly does that mean? We’ve broken the law down into its basic components to help you understand and follow the new law.
- Can I Still Hold My Phone While I Drive?
This one is pretty self-explanatory, but is probably going to be the toughest restriction for drivers to swallow. According to the new law, drivers may not hold or be touching a cell phone with any part of their body while operating a vehicle. If you are pulled over for using a cell phone while driving, you can receive a ticket. Drivers must pull over on the side of the road in order to use their phone.
- Are There Any Roads a Phone Can Be Used On?
The simple answer is no. All state-maintained roads, highways, and interstates will be off-limits for cell phone use, including private roads. A driver also cannot use a cell phone when they are stopped at a stop sign or red light.
- Can I Use a Wireless Option When Driving?
Wireless communication will be a welcomed accommodation for Georgia drivers. The use of bluetooth, earpieces, and speakerphones will be permitted by law, but only to use for cell phone communication. Using the earpiece for entertainment purposes, like listening to music, is still illegal. A driver can also touch the phone to answer it or dial a call.
- How Does Texting Work in the New Law?
Texting by hand is still illegal. The voice-to-text option will be allowed by the new law, though. Although drivers may receive a text, they cannot reply unless they use this feature and may not read a reply they get in return.
- Can I Record a Video While I Drive?
Drivers will not be allowed to record video while they are operating a vehicle. This means all video-recording apps, including Snapchat, Facebook Live, and Instagram videos will be off-limits to drivers.
At LaGrone Law, we are dedicated to keeping you and your loved ones safe. If you have a question about the new law or have been affected by it, we would be happy to assist you. Please visit www.lagronelaw.com today to see how we can help.