Hands-free driving law in effect today

Logo on former Cobb Police Department Headquarterslogo at the old Cobb Police Department Headquarters (photo by Larry Felton Johnson)

The Hands-free Georgia law

The Hands-free Georgia law, restricting the use of cell phones and other mobile devices while driving, went into effect today.  The details of the bill signed into law on May 2nd, 2018 is outlined on the website of Heads Up Georgia.

The Marietta Police department also posted resources to help drivers understand the law including an informative pamphlet.

A brief summary of what you can’t do

Here are the things you can’t do under the law:

You can’t hold a mobile device in your hand, or use any part of your body to support it.  In other words, no holding the phone with your neck or resting it on your thigh.  You can only make or receive calls using a speakerphone, earpiece, wireless headphone, or phone connected to the vehicle or a wireless watch.

You can use a GPS.

Headsets and earpieces can only be used to communicate and not for listening to music.

You can’t send or read texts unless you’re using voice-based communication that automatically converts voice input to a written text. You can’t write, send or read any text messages, e-mails, social media or internet data content.

You can’t watch a video unless it is for navigation, nor can you record one except on a continuously running dashcam.

You can only listen to a music streaming app if you start the app while you’re still parked. You can’t change the settings on the app without being legally parked (and that doesn’t include stopping at a traffic light). Streaming video is not allowed.

Video from the Sheriff’s Department & the Powder Springs Police

Sometimes a visual demonstration is the best way to learn about something new and unfamiliar.  The Cobb County Sheriff’s Department and the Powder Springs Police Department have produced this four-minute video that explains the law and the penalties for violators.