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Hands-Free Driving Bill Awaits Governor Deal's Signature

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A measure for a hands-free driving bill in Georgia is waiting for Governor Deal’s signature. The Georgia General Assembly passed HB 673 on March 29th. Deal voiced support for the bill during the 2018 legislative session.

If signed into law, Georgia drivers would not be able to physically hold a phone, iPad, Kindle or similar device, use text messages, record, broadcast or watch a video on their mobile devices. They would still be able to use phones on a hands-free basis, GPS, voice texts, and touch their phones for dialing, receiving or ending calls. The measure would go into effect on July 1, 2018.

Drivers would not be allowed to:

·         Physically hold or support a wireless telecommunications device (i.e. mobile phone) or a stand-alone electronic device (i.e. iPad, iPod, Kindle, etc.) with any part of the body;

o   Exceptions would be made for an earpiece, headphone device or telecommunications device worn on a wrist (i.e. smart watch).

·         Write, send or read any text-based communication, including but not limited to instant message, e-mail or internet data;

o   Exceptions would be allowed for voice-to-text technology.

·         Watch a video or movie on a wireless telecommunications device or stand-alone electronic device;

·         Record or broadcast a video on a wireless telecommunications device or stand-alone electronic device;

o   This would not apply to devices used for the sole purpose of continuously recording or broadcasting video within or outside of the motor vehicle (i.e. dash cams).

Drivers would be allowed to:

·         Use their phone for voice communication on a hands-free basis;

·         Touch their phone for dialing, receiving or ending a call as long as the driver is not holding or supporting the phone;

·         Use their phone for GPS navigation apps;

·         Use voice-to-text technology.

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