Office of Highway Safety makes stop in Glynn County to discuss new 'Hands-Free Georgia Act'

Office of Highway Safety makes stop in Glynn County to discuss new 'Hands-Free Georgia Act'
(Source: Governor's Office of Highway Safety)

GLYNN CO., GA (WTOC) - The Governor's Office of Highway Safety was in Glynn County on Thursday to discuss the state's Hands-Free Georgia Act before it takes effect on July 1.

The new law prohibits drivers from having a phone or electronic device in their hand or touching any part of their body while operating a motor vehicle on the road. Drivers can make phone calls through a speakerphone feature, earpiece, and wireless headset or if their phone is connected to an electronic watch or their vehicle's stereo.

The use of GPS and navigational devices is allowed but drivers cannot have their phone in their hand or supported by any part of their body.

While the new law will allow drivers to use "hands-free" technology to make/receive phone calls and use GPS devices, drivers cannot at any time use their phones to write, read and send text messages, e-mails, social media and internet data.    The use of voice-to-text technology is allowed.

The hands-free law also prohibits drivers from watching videos as well as recording videos, though GPS navigational videos and continuously running dash cams are permitted.

Drivers can listen to music through streaming apps on their phone, but they cannot activate their apps or change music through their phone while driving.  Music streaming apps programmed and controlled through the vehicle's radio system are allowed.

The Governor's Office of Highway Safety, Georgia Department of Public Safety and local law enforcement officers also remind everyone the law does not contain a 90-day 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 officers believe they are warranted, especially those violations that involve traffic crashes.

People can find more information on the Hands-Free Georgia Act at www.headsupgeorgia.com and specific questions can be sent via e-mail to our office at info@gohs.ga.gov.

You can watch the full news conference below:

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