The State of Georgia decided to face the menace of distracted driving head-on by enacting a hands-free cellphone law on July 1, 2018. It is now illegal for anyone to use text while driving. The law makes it even more challenging to use any mobile device at all while driving. You can only operate your cell phone through hand-free calling or by using your Bluetooth device.
Any violation of this law leads to a fine of $50 for your first conviction. A second conviction will call for a fine of $100 and $150 for the third.
There are several areas that the Act touches upon apart from prohibiting texting while driving. It goes further to prevent motorists from physically holding or supporting the phone with any part of their body. Furthermore, it bans motorists from using mobile devices to watch movies or videos other than data that can help with the navigation of the vehicle.
When a motorist is using a commercial motor vehicle, the law prohibits them from reaching for an electronic device in a way that it makes the driver move from the driving position or become restrained by the safety belt. The driver should not also press more than one button of the mobile device when answering or cutting off voice communication.
But has this law resulted in any changes?
Since the introduction of this law, compliance has not been smooth. According to a report by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, more than 1000 formal warnings and 320 citations were issued several months after by the Georgia Department of Public Safety since the law took effect. Though the number of citations and warnings have been high, the number of fatalities, as a result, is down. It only shows that motorists are complying with the law even though imperfectly.