You may find it hard to remember what life was like before everyone depended so heavily on cellphones. Smartphones are used for more than communication these days. People use these powerful electronic devices for directions, research, reservations, e-commerce and social media.
It can be more than tempting to pick up the cellphone if a notification alerts us to a new message while driving. Using a cellphone while operating a vehicle in Georgia can result in traffic violations under the Hands-Free Georgia Act.
What is the Hands-Free Georgia Act?
The Hands-Free Georgia Act became a law in the Peach State on July 1, 2018. This act stipulates that Georgia drivers can’t have a cellphone in their hands or touching any part of their body while driving.
The second part of the law prevents motorists from having the phone pressed between their head and shoulder or simply laying it in their lap while using its speaker. There must be some wireless technology such as Bluetooth involved for law enforcement to deem your phone use as hands-free.
Fines for hands-on cellphone violations?
A police officer may issue you a citation for your improper or illegal cellphone use while driving. The following penalties may apply:
- First offense: $50 fine and one point against your license
- Second offense: $100 fine and two points against your license
- Third offense: $150 fine and three points against your license
The penalties associated with cellphone use and driving may seem minimal since it only involves the imposition of fines and points. Data published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows that distracted driving resulted in 2,841 fatalities in 2018, though. Your phone use could claim others’ lives, resulting in you facing more serious charges.
Driver’s license points can add up, affecting your ability to retain your driver’s license. That’s why you’ll want to aggressively fight any traffic violation citation that you receive.