Beginning on July 1, 2018, the Hands-Free Georgia Act will take effect, requiring all drivers to use hands-free technology when using cell phones or other electronic devices while driving. This might sound pretty straightforward, but the law is actually much more intricate than it seems, pushing to limit the number of distractions that prevent drivers from focusing on driving safely. Given the growing danger that distracted driving presents to those on the road, not only in Georgia, but across the country, this change could not have come at a better time.
What is Prohibited by the Hands-Free Georgia Act?
There are many electronic devices that can potentially distract drivers from paying attention to the road ahead. Georgia’s new distracted driving law prohibits the following:
- Using any part of the body to hold or support a wireless communication device or stand-alone electronic device, such as an iPod.
- Writing, reading, or sending messages, such as a text message, instant message, or email while holding an electronic device.
- Reaching for a device that requires you to move from a proper driving position or necessitates the removal of your seat belt.
- Watching a video, movie, or anything other than data related to the navigation of your motor vehicle, such as a GPS screen that is properly mounted.
What is Allowed Under the Hand-Free Georgia Act?
The following will remain legal under Georgia’s new distracted driving law:
- Using hands-free technology to speak or send a text message.
- Using a GPS system or mapping app.
- Using an earpiece to have a conversation on the phone.
- Using a radio, CB radio or radio hybrid, subscription-based emergency communication device, prescribed medical device, in-vehicle security, or a remote diagnostics system.
- There are some exceptions that allow drivers to use a handheld electronic device while driving. For example, if you need to report a traffic accident, medical emergency, fire, a crime, or a hazardous road condition, you can lawfully use an electronic device to call for help.
- Additionally, some individuals are exempt from the hands-free requirement when performing official duties. This includes police or law enforcement officers, emergency medical personnel, ambulance drivers, first responders and utility employees or contractors who are responding to a utility emergency.
Call a Car Accident Attorney
Motor vehicle accidents are never something we expect to happen, despite the frequent occurrence of these terrible incidents. Oftentimes, victims are left with serious, debilitating, or even fatal injuries, potentially impacting a family’s life forever. If you were injured in an accident that was caused by a distracted driver, the personal injury team at Robert James, Trial Attorneys has the skill, knowledge, and legal insight to ensure you are able to obtain the compensation you deserve and need to get back on your feet. There is no reason why you should have to pay for someone else’s mistakes.
Get the exceptional representation you deserve and call our law office today to schedule your free initial case evaluation.