Written by Elizabeth Davis. Posted in News & Weather

State Representative Eddie Lumsden has a reminder for local motorists – put your phone down while you are driving.  Georgia’s new Hands Free Law has been in effect now for two and a half weeks.  The legislation, which officially took effect on July 1st,  makes it illegal for drivers of motor vehicles to have a phone or any stand-alone electronic device in their hands (or on any part of their body) when operating vehicles on the road.

Lumsden, 12th District Representative in the state House, supported HB 673 (known as the Hands-Free Law) during the 2018 legislative session.  He cites a 34 percent increase in traffic fatalities in the past couple of years due to use of electronic devices.

Lawmakers now wait to see just how much safer the Hands-Free Law keeps Georgia drivers (and passengers), says Lumsden.  The former Georgia State Patrol trooper says that while it may be a major adjustment for those who are accustomed to using their mobile device when and where they wish, it keeps drivers’ focus where it should be – on the road.

According to the legislation, motorists may make or receive phone calls via their phone’s speaker feature, wireless earphone (not stereo earphones) and wireless earpiece.  Drivers are allowed to have a phone in hand to make calls when they feel they are in danger or to report emergencies.  Hands-Free also restricts drivers from using any music streaming app while driving down the road; this must be done while your vehicle is legally parked.

The fine for a first conviction is $50 and one point assessed against a driver’s license.  A second conviction will be penalized with a $100 fine along with two points, and three or more convictions will result in a $150 fine and three points added to the violator’s drivers license.

Motorists may visit for more information about the new Hands Free Law.

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