Georgia's New Hands-Free Law Making a Difference
Snellville, GA-The Snellville Patch is reporting that Georgia's Hands-free law which recently took effect is making a difference. Officers from the Snellville Police department say that accident numbers are down sharply from this time last year. The officers attribute that success to the state prohibiting cell phone and other electronic device use while driving.*
The proof of the success of the new law is in the raw data. In July 2018, Snellville PD responded to 130 traffic crashes, of which 89 happened on public roads, and the remainder occurred on private property. In June 2018, the month before the new law went into effect, Snellville police officers investigated 181 accidents, with 117 of which happened on public ways and the rest occurred on private property. In July of 2017, police assisted motorists at 176 accidents, with 120 on the road and 56 on private lands.
The Snellville Police have taken advantage of the expanded prohibition to write citations for unlawful use of an electronic device. In 2017, police issued 93 civil motor vehicle citations citing the new law of the improper use of a telecommunications device. This law is broader than its predecessor, which prohibited texting and unsafe cell phone use. In 2017, Snellville Police officers issued only 81 citations for texting and hazardous cell phone use while driving.
Motorists driving in Georgia will receive a $50 fine and one point on their license for a first offense under the new law. A second offense will result in a $100 fine and two license points. A third and subsequent offenses net a $150 penalty and three points on the driver's license.
Georgia's hands-free law allows drivers to use voice-activated technology on their cellular devices. You cannot record a video (and certainly not watch a video) while driving, but you can use a GPS or navigational app, music app, and making and receiving calls is lawful as long as the driver performs the task without handling the device.
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Sources: cited within.
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