If you use your cellphone while driving, beware: on July 1, 2018, those traveling in Georgia will be subject to a new “Hands-Free” driving law.
House Bill 673 affects people across the state, including those in Savannah and Augusta. Basically, if you’re driving your vehicle – don’t touch, don’t text, and don’t hold the phone while driving. After July 1, 2018, a police officer CAN pull you over for simply holding your cell phone while driving.
The goal of the law is to reduce the number of distractions that people experience behind the wheel due to cell phone use. It will be required that drivers utilize hands-free technology if they plan on texting or talking while driving.
Here's what you need to know.
What is NOT Permitted
Starting on July 1, 2018 you may not:
- Hold your phone or other electronic device with your hand or support it with any part of your body
- Watch a video on any mobile device, including your cell phone
- Record any videos on a mobile device while driving
- Send any type of electronic communication from your mobile or electronic device
What Is Permitted
You don't have to refrain from using your mobile device altogether. If you are operating your vehicle, you may:
- Speak or send a text message as long as you are using hands-free technology
- Use your navigation system
- Wear and use your smart watch
- Use ear buds or other type of earpiece to talk to someone
- Use a CB radio or radio
- Use your cellphone as normal to make an emergency call
- Use your mobile device while you are lawfully parked in a lot or driveway
- Perform duties dictated by your job
Similar Laws Across the Country
Georgia is not alone in its fight against distracted driving. There are several other states that have similar laws on the books. These include:
- California: Bans all drivers from using handheld cell phones and bans texting while driving
- Connecticut: Handheld cell phone ban and texting ban
- Delaware: Handheld cell phone use is banned and a texting ban
- District of Columbia: Cell phone calls are banned, as is texting
- Hawaii: Cell phone use is banned, and so is texting
- Illinois: Bans all drivers from texting or using a cell phone behind the wheel
- Maryland: Cell phones and texting are both banned
- Other states with similar bans: Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Vermont, Washington and West Virginia.
While all states have not banned both the use of cell phones and texting behind the wheel, texting while driving is a primary offense in 43 states and the District of Columbia. School bus drivers are not permitted to use a cell phone at all in 21 states, and the same can be said of teen drivers in 38 states.
When You Need a Car Accident Attorney
If you are in a car accident in Savannah or Augusta, and the accident was caused by a distracted driver, you need an experienced attorney on your side. After a wreck, you could be faced with medical bills, being unable to work and other factors that could have a major impact on your finances --- and your life as a whole. An experienced car accident attorney can work to ensure you don’t suffer financially due to someone else’s actions.
Don't leave your future up to chance. Reach out to our knowledgeable attorneys for assistance. We will review the details of your car accident and help you make the best decisions regarding your case. Call us today to schedule your free case evaluation and discover how we can assist you.