New state laws can arise at any time, and it can be challenging keeping abreast of the applicable laws. One very important statute passed in 2018 in Georgia applies to drivers.
The Hands-Free Law, more formally known as House Bill 673 (HB763), was passed on July 1. The law makes it illegal for Georgia drivers to be physically holding a phone while operating a vehicle, meaning that they cannot be holding the phone in their hands, or supporting it with any part of their bodies.
Is there a grace period applied for those who did not know about the law?
It can be frustrating to be charged with an act that you did not know was unlawful. This is especially true in situations when a new law is put into place. It is quite common for a 90-day grace period to be applied to new laws so that citizens have time to be aware of the changes.
Unfortunately, this is not the case for the Hands-Free Law, and any driver who is found to be physically using their phone on or after July 1st 2018 will be subject to consequences.
What are the details of the law?
The law states that the only way drivers can legally use their phones while driving is via hands-free technology. They cannot engage in any other phone-related activity while operating a vehicle.
Going into more detail, this means that drivers cannot watch or record videos while driving and cannot change the music on their phones while driving.
What are the exceptions to this law?
Drivers can still legally use GPS devices, and the law does not apply to electronic devices like car radios and stereo systems or prescribed medical devices.
If you were involved in a car accident while using your phone in the state of Georgia, it is important that you understand how the law will be applied. Alternatively, if you suffered injuries from an accident with a negligent, distracted driver, you may be able to pursue financial compensation by filing a claim for damages of a personal injury lawsuit in the Georgia civil courts.