Georgia Employment Law Update – July 2018

Georgia

Hands Free Law – Distracted Driving

On May 2, 2018, Georgia Governor Nathan Deal signed legislation (H.B. 673) with the following restrictions on cell phone use while driving:

  • 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 a speakerphone, earpiece, wireless headphone, or when the 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 a voice message to a written text, or for navigation or GPS.
  • A driver may not write, send, or read any text messages, emails, 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 as long as the driver activates and programs them when the vehicle is parked. Drivers cannot touch their phones to use music apps while driving. Drivers cannot watch music 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.

The act provides general exceptions, rules for commercial vehicle operators, rules for school bus drivers, and terms of enforcement.

The act is effective July 1, 2018.

Read the act