In May 2018, Governor Nathan Deal signed the Hands-Free Georgia Act that officially took effect on July 1, 2018. Texting while driving has been illegal in our state, but this act put further limitations on the use of your phone while behind the wheel.
You are still allowed to talk on your phone while driving, but you must do so hands-free. You can use speakerphone, Bluetooth, or earpieces, but you may not hold your phone, or have it sitting on your lap or supported by any part of your body. This is true while sitting at traffic lights and stop signs as well. You may not write, send, or read any text messages, emails, social media, or internet data content. You may not watch a video or record a video. Music and streaming apps can be used when you are parked, but you cannot touch them while on the road. The hands-free law does not apply to navigation or making reports of traffic collisions or medical emergencies.
The penalties and citations for breaking this law are severe. For your first offense, you are fined $50 and one point is placed on your license. The next offense results in a $100 fine and two points on your license. Your third and all subsequent offenses are $150 and three points on your license each, plus additional potential consequences.
This act was a huge change in Georgia roadway safety history and officers are taking it very seriously. There are so many accidents that occur because of phone usage while driving and this law was designed to help limit those distractions.