Hey, Georgians... this is something you need to know about:
House Bill 673 (also known as the “Hands Free Law”) was passed by the Georgia General Assembly and signed into law by Governor Nathan Deal. The Hands Free Law will take effect on July 1, 2018. A link to the complete law can be found here.
The long and short of it: You’re not allowed to hold your phone while driving. You cannot have your phone in your hand or touching any part of your body at all (including in your pocket).
Highlights / Details of the Bill
A driver cannot have a phone in their hand or use any part of their body to support their phone. Drivers can only use their phones to make or receive phone calls by using speakerphone, earpiece, wireless headphone, or phone connected to vehicle or an electronic watch. GPS navigation devices are allowed.
- Headsets and earpieces can only be worn for communication purposes and not for listening to music or other entertainment.
- A driver may not send or read any text-based communication unless using voice-based communication that automatically converts message to a written text or is being used for navigation or GPS
- A driver may not write, send or read any text messages, e-mails, social media or internet data content
- A driver may not watch a video unless it is for navigation.
- A driver may not record a video (continuously running dash cams are exempt)
- Music streaming apps can be used provided the driver activates and programs them when they are parked. Drivers cannot touch their phones to do anything to their music apps when they are on the road. Music streaming apps that include video also are not allowed since drivers cannot watch videos when on the road. Drivers can listen to and program music streaming apps that are connected to and controlled through their vehicle's radio.
Could I still talk on my phone while driving?
Yes, as long as it is done hands-free. Drivers would be able to use their phone’s speakerphone, Bluetooth technology, an earpiece, a headphone or other device to allow them to communicate on a hands-free basis.
Am I be required to purchase a hands-free accessory, such as a mount or bracket?
No. The proposed law simply states that a driver cannot hold or support a mobile phone. A phone can be left on a vehicle’s console, a front seat, etc. However, for the safety of all Georgians, state and local law enforcement recommend the purchase and use of a hands-free device if using a mobile phone while driving.
This is the official site with info about the law:
Stay safe (and don't get a ticket)!
Chief Information Officer