The National Safety Council reports that 1.6 million crashes each year are caused by drivers texting while behind the wheel of a moving vehicle. Texting and driving is 6x more likely to cause an accident than driving drunk. The NHTSA estimates that, sadly enough, every day 660,000 drivers use electronic devices while they are driving. These grim statistics prompted Georgia legislators to improve the distracted driving laws and thus, the new laws were enacted and went into effect on July 1st 2018.
Under Georgia’s revised distracted driving laws, you will want to avoid holding any type of mobile device in your hand while driving as it is now strictly prohibited by Georgia law. Reading from your device or using the video function(record or watch) while driving is prohibited as well. You are allowed to control music by either using voice activation or your car’s radio system. Headsets and headphones are not allowed for music but can be used for hands free communication.
The Georgia “Hands Free” Law code reads:
Effective July 1, 2018, pursuant to 40-6-241(c), all drivers operating a motor vehicle on any highway of this state are prohibited from:
- Holding or supporting, with any part of the body, a wireless telecommunications device or stand-alone electronic device.
- Writing, sending or reading any text-based communication, including a text message, instant message, e-mail or internet data.
- Watching, recording, or broadcasting a video or movie.
The fine for a first conviction under this new law(40-6-241(c) is $50.00 with 1 point assesed against your driving record. The fine is $100.00 and 2 points for a second conviction and $150.00 and 3 points for three or more conviction. The fines for a 2nd or 3rd offense only apply when date of a 2nd or 3rd conviction takes place within 24 months of the date of the first conviction.
There is no 90 day grace period for this law, officer began enforcement on July 1st and expect that you won’t receive a warning if you are pulled over in Georgia as the intent of the new law is to save lives, no excuses and zero tolerance for endangering yourself and others on the road.
If you receive a ticket for a violation of the new Georgia distracted driving laws, call Hawkins Spizman Fortas now at 404-933-1153 for a free, no obligation consultation.