The Georgia State Patrol is Pleased with Progress Made with Hands-Free Law
Gwinnett County- The Gwinnett Daily Post reports that the Georgia State Patrol is pleased that Georgia motorists are taking the state's new hands-free law as seriously as intended by the legislature and Gov. Deal when the bill became effective on July 1, 2018. The law makes holding a phone while driving unlawful. The law is so specific that a driver violates the rule if any body part touches the phone or another electronic device while the driver is operating his or her vehicle.*
Many people were skeptical about the net effect the hands-free law would have on safe driving in Georgia overall. Despite those skeptics, the Georgia State Patrol is happy with the progress they see on the state's roadways. Gwinnett Post #51 State Troopers have issued 20 citations and 28 written warnings to this point. Georgia State Patrol troopers continue to focus on educating motorists, especially when considering the complexities of the law. They appreciate that Georgia's drivers seem to be adhering to the new law generally.
The official title for the legislation is the"Hands-Free Georgia Law." Gov. Deal signed the bill proposing the law in May of 2018, to become effective July 1. This two-month time frame gave people a chance to learn about the law and its consequences before law enforcement officers could start pulling drivers over for violations.
Even though the law has been in effect for over one month, some law enforcement agencies have chosen to delay issuing penalties for hands-free offenses. Instead, officers had been pulling people over and educating them about the new law. Law enforcement intervention will now focus on assessing penalties for violations of the hands-free law; the free ride is now over for some jurisdictions but not others. For example, the Georgia State Patrol chose to have a 90-day window before they began ticketing in earnest unless the circumstances of the situation, such as a car accident, warrant issuing a citation.
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Sources: cited within.
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