Strategies for Obeying Georgia’s Hands-Free Law
Georgia’s Hands-Free law went into effect on July 1, 2018, prohibiting drivers from holding their phones while speaking on a call, operating GPS, using the internet, or recording video. Although some counties are granting drivers a grace period, it’s important to begin following the law and break bad habits. Here are some strategies for following the law and fighting the urge to use your phone illegally:
1. Set Your Phone to Do Not Disturb
Most modern cell phones have a “Do Not Disturb” feature that you can turn on prior to driving. You can even set an automatic message that will let your caller or texter know you’re driving and will contact them later.
2. Use Headphones
If you need to take a call, a simple solution is to use your headphones. However, it’s recommend that you only use one earbud or earphone. Although it is legal to use them for phone calls, it’s illegal to listen to music or any other form of entertainment.
3. Use Bluetooth Devices
If your car has built-in Bluetooth, this is perhaps the simplest solution for you. However, you can also invest in a Bluetooth headset or Bluetooth speakerphones, depending on your preference.
4. Use a Phone Mount
If you need to see your GPS’ map rather than just hearing the directions given to you, a mount for your phone is the answer. These are relatively inexpensive and are useful if you want to use your phone’s speakerphone feature for calls.
Be Aware of the Penalties
Although your county may be offering citizens a short grace period, it’s important to note that Georgia State Patrol is not. Those caught violating Georgia’s hands-free law will receive the following penalties:
- First Violation – $50 Fine and One Point on License
- Second Violation – $100 Fine and Two Points on License
- Third Violation – $150 Fine and Three Points on License