Hands-Free Georgia Act Set to Become Law

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Hands-Free Georgia Act Set to Become Law

Sarah Weyand | June 19, 2018
• Atlanta, GA

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House Bill 673 from the 2018 session of the Georgia General Assembly will take effect July 1 effectively banning the use of devices, such as a mobile phone, for driving.

On May 2, Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal signed the Hands-Free Georgia Act implementing stricter rules on the use of technology while driving. Taking effect July 1, the Hands-Free Georgia Act will make it illegal to do any of the following while operating a vehicle:

hold a wireless telecommunication device, such as a cell phone or personal computer
write, send, or read any text messages, emails, or internet data
watch videos or movies
record or broadcast video
The new law will still allow using a global positioning system (GPS) device, as well as sending and receiving calls and messages via hands-free operating systems. The purpose of the Hands-Free Georgia Act is to attempt to reduce the number of deaths occurring on Georgia roadways, which rose to a historic high of 1,550 fatalities last year.

Based on the definition of a highway in the law’s provisions, the Hands-Free Georgia Act also applies to Georgia Tech’s roadways. All students, faculty, and staff on campus must abide by this law while on campus.

The penalties for violating the Hands-Free Georgia Act are an initial fine of $50 with fines of $100 and $150 for subsequent violations.

“Prohibiting the use of technology while driving both on and off campus will greatly reduce the number of accidents caused by distracted driving,” said GTPD Police Chief Rob Connolly. ­ “It’s important for our community to take note before the law goes into effect and we begin enforcing the new regulations.”

In addition to staying safe while operating a vehicle, GTPD reminds the campus community to focus on security by reporting any criminal incidents …

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