Understanding Georgia’s New Hands-Free Driving Law
Back in March, Governor Nathan Deal endorsed House Bill 673, prohibiting traditional use of cell phones and requiring the use of hands-free technology to use a cell phone while driving. This law makes Georgia the 15th state to ban the use of electronic devices while operating a vehicle. What is allowed and what is prohibited under this new law can be confusing. Here’s what drivers can and cannot do under Georgia’s Hands-Free Driving Law:
Allowed Under Georgia’s Hands-Free Driving Law
- Communicating through the use of hands-free technology, including speaking and texting.
- Using a GPS device as long as it is not being held or supported by any part of the body.
Prohibited Under Georgia’s Hands-Free Driving Law
The following actions are prohibited at all times while behind the wheel, including while stopped at a red light.
- Holding or using any part of the body to support a wireless device, including phones, iPods, and other MP3 players.
- Reading, writing, or sending any form of electronic communication while holding the device. This includes email, text messages, and internet data.
- Watching video. This includes online videos, movies, television shows, and other forms of video. Drivers are allowed to watch navigation-related data.
- Recording or broadcasting video. This prohibition does not include dashcams or other similar recording devices.
Georgia’s Hands-Free Driving Law provides some exceptions where drivers may use phones in ways otherwise prohibited. Cell phones and other devices may be used in emergency situations, including medical emergencies, or if you’re reporting a crime, accident, or fire. Additionally, first responders and others responding to emergencies such as police officers, firefighters, and paramedics are exempt from these laws while performing official duties.
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