Georgia Law Enforcement Officer See Hands-Free Law Working
GEORGIA – Law enforcement officers in Georgia see the state’s Hands-Free law working, according to an online news report posted at wrdw.com. Other states are taking notice, too, with Alabama and South Carolina introducing bills that mirror Georgia’s ban on handheld electronic devices while driving.*
The Hands-Free Georgia Act took effect in July 2017, and since that time, it has been illegal to hold any electronic device while driving in the state of Georgia. With few exceptions — like making a 911 phone call — if law enforcement officers spot people in the state driving and holding a cell phone, they will be pulled over and cited. The only way people can use their devices while driving is with hands-free technology, like Bluetooth.
At first, Georgia law enforcement says, officers were issuing a lot of tickets. But recently, they have noticed a reduction in those tickets, something they attribute to the law itself and the state’s officers and doing their jobs.
“My guys are always looking for distracted driving,” said Sgt. Mark Chestang, of the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office. “It started out, we were really getting a lot of stops [for Hands-Free violations]. Then people realized we were making the stops for the Hands-Free, and then they started making sure they got the hands-free devices.”
Neighboring states Alabama and South Carolina have watched the Hands-Free Georgia Act have a positive effect on the roadways, and lawmakers in those states have started introducing proposed legislation similar to Georgia’s law. This is a move Chestang supports.
“I think the more people that you get off the phone while they’re driving, the better,” Chestang said. “It’s a tool, and it’s a tool that keeps us safer — keeps you safer, keeps me safer. It keeps our families safer.”
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