Georgia’s New Hands Free Law Begins July 1, 2018

When Georgia’s new Hands Free Law takes effect on July 1, 2018, drivers can no longer have a phone in their hands or use any part of their bodies to support their phones.  That’s why they call it “hands free.”

According to Heads UP Georgia:

House Bill 673 also known as the “Hands Free Law” was passed by the Georgia General Assembly and signed into law by Governor Nathan Deal.   The Hands Free Law will take effect on July 1, 2018.

When I ride my motorcycle in Georgia, it seems like drivers spend more time looking at their smart phones than they do looking at the road or what’s around them.  May this new law protect us all.

Please Note:  You may not touch your phone at stop lights or at stop signs.  You may pull over and park to do so.

Simply put, drivers in Georgia may no longer touch or hold their phones, except to push a single button to call or receive a call.

  • 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.

Drivers may not text while driving or receive texts.

  • A driver may not send or read any text-based communication unless using voice-based communication that automatically converts a 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.

Drivers may not record or watch videos.

Music Streaming Apps

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.

Drivers are allowed to touch their phones to report a traffic crash, medical emergency, fire, criminal activity or hazardous road conditions.

Is there a 90-day grace period?

There is not a 90-day grace period provision in the Hands-Free Law.  When the Hands-Free law takes effect July 1, the Georgia Department of Public Safety and local law enforcement have the option to issue warnings for violations as part of the effort to educate and to help motorists adapt to the new law.  However, citations can and will be issued starting July 1 for any violation of the Hands-Free Law, including those where the violation involves a traffic crash.

Can I still talk on my phone while driving?
Yes, as long as it is done hands free.  Drivers would be able to use their phone’s speakerphone, Bluetooth technology, an earpiece, a headphone or other device to allow them to communicate on a hands-free basis.

Could I touch my cellphone to dial a number or receive or end a call?
Yes.  The law simply prohibits drivers from holding or supporting a phone.

New Hands Free Law Details