Hands-Free Law in Georgia
The Hands-Free Georgia Act prohibits anyone driving on Georgia roads from using his or her cellphone with her hands. However, there are a lot of ways to legally use your phone while driving, and there are instances where using your phone with your hand is acceptable.
Navigating new laws can be tricky, and if you have been charged with violating the Hands-Free Georgia Act, The Turner Firm can help.
What is prohibited in the Hands-Free Georgia Act?
The Hands-Free Georgia Act basically prohibits drivers from holding cellphones or electronic device while driving. This encompasses using your device in a few different ways, including:
- Holding a wireless telecommunications device or stand-alone electronic device with your hand or supporting it with any part of your body. For example, using a cellphone, an electronic tablet, or an iPod.
- Writing, reading, or sending any text-based communication while holding your device. For example: sending or receiving text messages or emails.
- Watching a video or movie while driving. This does not include looking at your GPS or navigation application.
- Taking photographs or recording a video of any kind while driving.
What is allowed in the Hands-Free Georgia Act?
Even though you are not allowed to use your hands or any other part of your body to operate a cellphone or related devices while driving, you are still able to use your devices in certain ways. This includes:
- Speaking or texting using hands-free technology
- Using a GPS or navigation application
- Wearing and using a smart watch
- Using an earpiece to talk on the phone
- Using radios
- Using in-vehicle security, navigation, or remote diagnostics systems
There are a few situations where a driver can use his or her hands to handle an electronic device. This includes using the device while lawfully parked (this does not include while stopped at a stoplight), and during an emergency situation. Some drivers are exempt from the Hands-Free act if they are performing an official duty. This includes police, firefighters, and other emergency personnel.
If You Have Been Charged With a Violation
Because the Hands-Free Georgia Act is still so new, many police officers will be handing out warnings and will focus on educating the community while drivers get used to the new limitations. However, each officer is entitled to make a judgment call between handing out a warning or a citation. If you find yourself charged with a violation of the new act, contact The Turner Firm. Our attorneys can help you fight against this charge.