Under Georgia’s current hands-free law, it is illegal for motorists to be on the phone while at a red light or stop sign. In fact, it is illegal for drivers to touch their phones unless parked.
Now one lawmaker wants to change that. State Sen. Frank Ginn said it should also be okay to send a quick text or read your email while stopped at a light or stop sign.
“The car is not moving, when you’re perfectly still you can pick up the phone,” said State Sen. Frank Ginn.
Sen. Ginn said he’s 100% against distracted drivers but said when one is at a full stop it should be okay to pick up the phone.
Sen. Ginn voted for the hands-free law back in 2018. Now he wants to amend it a bit. He said he’s heard from a number of constituents who have been cited for texting at a stop sign or light.
“You may pull up to a stop sign and there’s nobody there. Today it’s illegal to pull out your phone and look at a text message or whatever. I don’t like to make criminals out of our citizens,” said Sen. Ginn.
Sen. Ginn said the important thing to remember is to hang up when the light turns green.
The bill has been assigned to the Public Safety Committee and is on the agenda for review.
Lawmakers in 2018 adopted the Hands-Free Georgia Act, which prohibits motorists from handling cellphones and other wireless devices while driving. But it also included a provision that requires judges to dismiss charges against first offenders who bring a receipt for a hands-free device to court.
The “get out of jail free” provision allows motorists to demonstrate they intended to comply with the law in the future. It’s hard to tell how many citations have been dismissed because of it, but last year The AJC found it was used thousands of times a year in Atlanta alone.
Defensive driving participants learn about the current rules of the road and how to operate their vehicles more safely in today’s increasingly challenging driving environment.
- Maintaining proper following distance
- Minimizing the effect of dangerous blind spots
Limiting driver distractions such as eating, smoking, and cell phone use
- Properly using safety belts, airbags, and all car features
- Effects of medications on driving
- Maintaining physical flexibility
- Monitoring the driving skills and capabilities of yourself and others
There is a lot of very useful and informative information offered in our classes and it will apply whether you have been driving for years or you are a brand new driver!
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