The Hands-Free Georgia Act was signed by Governor Nathan Deal on May 2, 2018 and took effect on July 1, 2018.
Here’s a brief overview of the new law, which can be found at Georgia Code Section 40-6-241:
- Drivers cannot “physically hold or support” a cell phone “with any part of his or her body” while driving.
- Drivers can only use their phones to make or answer calls by using speakerphone, an earpiece, a headphone device, or a smartphone watch.
- But even with hands-free technology, drivers cannot write or read any text-based communication while on the road. (Voice to text is allowed.)
- Drivers cannot watch videos when they are on the road. (Navigational/GPS videos are allowed.)
- Drivers cannot record a video when they are on the road. (Continuously running dash cams are allowed.)
- Drivers may listen to streaming music that does not include videos, but the driver must activate the program while he is parked.
- Drivers cannot touch their phones to do anything to their music apps while on the road.
- The fine for a first conviction is $50.00 and 1 point assessed against the driver’s license. The fine is $100.00 and 2 points for a second conviction and $150.00 and 3 points for three or more conviction. The fines for a 2nd or 3rd offense only apply when date of a 2nd or 3rd conviction takes place within 24 months of the date of the first conviction. First time offenders can have the charge dropped by showing the court they have obtained a device that allows them to talk on a phone with hands-free technology or devices.
- EXCEPTIONS TO THE LAW: Reporting a traffic crash, medical emergency, fire, criminal activity, or hazardous road condition.
A link to the complete law can be found at www.gahighwaysafety.org.
Contact us if you have been hurt by a driver who was violating the Hands-Free Georgia Act.