Georgia officials clarify hands-free driving law to take effect July 1

June 7, 20183min1490
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ATLANTA – The Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, the Georgia Department of Public Safety and local law enforcement officers are reminding Georgia drivers that the new hands-free driving law becomes effective July 1. There will be no grace period for citations, officials said today.

State Rep. John Carson (R-Marietta) today clarified that Georgia drivers may utilize music streaming applications under House Bill 673, the Hands-Free Georgia Act, which he sponsored. The new law takes effect on July 1.

The new law prohibits drivers from holding or supporting a wireless telecommunication device or a stand-alone electronic device while operating a vehicle. Additionally, the measure  maintains the ban on texting, emailing and internet browsing while driving, but will also prohibit watching or recording videos while driving.  GPS navigation and voice-to-text features will still be permitted.

State Rep. John Carson (R-Marietta) clarified that Georgia drivers may utilize music streaming applications under House Bill 673, the Hands-Free Georgia Act, which he sponsored. The new law takes effect on July 1.

Under the new law, drivers can listen to music streaming apps on their phone while driving, but they cannot activate their apps or change music through their phone while driving.  Music streaming apps that are programmed and controlled through the vehicle’s radio system are allowed.  However, music streaming apps that have video are not allowed since the law specifically prohibits drivers from watching videos. GPS navigation and voice-to-text features will still be permitted.

State Rep. John Carson (R-Marietta), who sponsored House Bill 673, the Hands-Free Georgia Act, said the there will be no grace period for enforcement. Many officers will be issuing warnings for violations in the first months of the law as part of the education effort, but citations can and will be issued starting July 1 where law enforcement officers believe they are warranted, especially those violations that involve traffic crashes.

For more information on HB 673, please click here.

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