On July 1, the new law focused on eradicating distracted driving will be enacted throughout the state of Georgia.
As reported in The Red & Black, on May 1, House Bill 673, or the “Hands-Free Georgia Act,” was signed by Gov. Nathan Deal to end distracted driving and encourage technology-free traveling through Georgia.
To avoid breaking the new law, it’s important to know that while driving you can't hold any wireless telecommunication device with any part of the body. You also cannot write, send, or read texting of any kind in the form of text message, instant message, email or internet data.
Also prohibited is watching a video or movie on a wireless telecommunication device, recording or broadcasting video footage as well as getting out of the seat or removing the seat belt to get your device.
You can, however, use earpieces, headphones, or Apple Watch to talk and use voice recognition (such as “Hey Siri” or “OK Google”) to text, email, and instant message as well as using Maps application and GPS, which includes entering location information while driving.
Drivers can also use one button to activate voice recognition and use devices such as: “radio, CB radio, CB radio hybrid, commercial two-way radio, subscription-based emergency communication device, prescribed medical device, amateur/ ham radio device, in-vehicle security and navigation, or remote diagnostics systems.
The penalties include the first offense being fines up to $50 and one point on license, second offense within two-year period with a fine up to $100 and two points on license and the third offense within two-year period as a fine up to $150 and three points on license.
After these offenses, your license could possibly be suspended.
This law doesn't apply when reporting a traffic incident, medical emergency, fire, crime or road condition that poses a hazard, to contractors of utility service providers responding to a utility emergency, to police, firefighters, and emergency medical personnel.
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