A few years ago, Georgia implemented a “no texting while driving”
law. Unfortunately, there were way too many loopholes in it and officers
were unable to prove drivers were actually texting instead of using their
GPS, Facebook, Twitter, etc. Well, the Georgia General Assembly just approved
House Bill 673, which would prohibit any driver from using a cell phone,
and instead, only allow “hands free” technology.
Once Governor Nathan Deal signs the order (which he is expected to), drivers
may not do the following with their cell phones:
- Drivers may not hold their phones. And by “hold,” the phone
cannot be supported by your shoulder, by your leg, or by any other part
of the body.
- Drivers may not write, send, or read text messages, instant messages, emails,
or internet data.
- Drivers may not “reach for” their phones, if it requires getting
out of the seat.
- Drivers may not watch a video or movie.
- Drivers may not record a video.
It seems crazy that 1) drivers can do any of the above while operating
a two ton piece of machinery driving 55 miles per hour and 2) it has taken
Georgia this long to implement this bill. (I would love to question the
driver who is caught doing #4).
Now, the exceptions. Here is what you CAN do (according to the law):
- You can hold your device if using a GPS system or mapping app.
- You can hold your device if you are reporting an accident, emergency, fire,
crime, or road condition.
- You can use your device if you are “lawfully” parked…but
this means you are off the road in an area for parking.
So for all you “I only text while at red lights,” consider
this blog entry a warning that you cannot do that anymore.
The punishment will be fines, fees, and points.