Hands-free law now in effect in Georgia - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Hands-free law now in effect in Georgia

Source: WGCL Source: WGCL

As of July 1, you can no longer handle your cell phone or even put it in your lap while driving. 

Of course, you can still talk on your phone but if your vehicle doesn't have a built-in system for calls, you'll need to either put the phone on speaker from the dashboard or the console or possibly use an earpiece.

You are allowed to press one button to either answer the phone or hang it up but you cannot hold or cradle it in any way.

According to the Georgia Department of Public Safety, here is a brief description of what you cannot do:

  • A driver cannot have a phone in their hand or use any part of their body to support their phone.  Drivers can only use their phones to make or receive phone calls by using speakerphone, earpiece, wireless headphone, phone is connected to vehicle or an electronic watch.  GPS navigation devices are allowed.
  • Headsets and earpieces can only be worn for communication purposes and not for listening to music or other entertainment.
  • A driver may not send or read any text-based communication unless using voice-based communication that automatically converts message to a written text or is being used for navigation or GPS
  • A driver may not write, send or read any text messages, e-mails, social media or internet data content
  • A driver may not watch a video unless it is for navigation.
  • A driver may not record a video (continuously running dash cams are exempt)
  • Music streaming apps can be used provided the driver activates and programs them when they are parked.  Drivers cannot touch their phones to do anything to their music apps when they are on the road.  Music streaming apps that include video also are not allowed since drivers cannot watch videos when on the road.  Drivers can listen to and program music streaming apps that are connected to and controlled through their vehicle's radio. 

There are exceptions to the law for utility workers and law enforcement officers. Those exceptions are as follows:

  • Reporting a traffic crash, medical emergency, fire, criminal activity or hazardous road conditions.
  • An employee or contractor of an utility service provider acting within the scope of their employment while responding to an utility emergency.
  • A first responder (law enforcement, fire, EMS) during the performance of their official duties. 
  • When in a lawfully parked vehicle—this DOES NOT include vehicles stopped for traffic signals and stop signs on the public roadway.

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