Georgia public safety is clamping down on those who violate the state’s hands-free law while operating a motor vehicle. Though Georgia’s hands-free law is only about a year old, plenty of people are forgetting that they have to pull over to use their phones while in their vehicle. Some are unaware the new law is on the books. The logic in passing the hands-free law is to prevent an accident that damages another car or takes a life. However, it is challenging to break a habit you have practiced for years or even a decade or longer. This habit is precisely why Georgia public safety has issued a litany of tickets for phone use while driving across the past 15 months.
Every Georgia driver and driver passing through the state should understand the Hands-Free Georgia Act. Passed on July 1, 2018, this law forbids drivers from holding a phone when driving and even states that drivers are barred from having a phone on their lap while operating a motor vehicle. However, Georgia motorists are permitted to talk on the phone if they use a phone mount or a technology that makes it possible to carry on a conversation without actually holding the phone. The law states that drivers are only permitted to touch their phone to answer a call.
In the year since the Hands-Free Georgia Act passed, Georgia State Patrol troopers issued nearly 25,000 citations. More than 20,000 of those cited were holding a phone when operating their motor vehicle. The rest of the offenders were watching a video when operating their motor vehicle or texting while behind the wheel.
Police officers throughout the state of Georgia are quick to admit they still find plenty of distracted drivers. However, these officers are also noticing the number of auto accidents has decreased since the hands-free law was enforced. It appears as though the new law has already made a significant impact on road safety. However, plenty of Georgia drivers and out-of-state drivers traveling through Georgia are unaware of the new law.
The Thomasville police department has launched the Operation Safe Driver initiative to catch those who use their phones while driving. This initiative is just one of many crackdowns that will take place in Thomasville this year. More crackdowns are scheduled throughout 2019 and likely continue well into the future. The bottom line is that drivers are tempted to use their smartphone while driving as it is inconvenient to pull over to make or take a phone call. However, using a phone, tablet, or another electronic device while behind the wheel is now illegal, and local police are now searching for drivers who violate the state’s new hands-free law.
If you have been ticketed for using your phone while driving, a DUI, or for any other traffic offense, do not assume you are powerless. We can connect you with a local attorney who can review your situation for the best legal recourse. Complete the online contact form or call 1-888-296-3059 to start.