Breaking Georgia’s Hands-Free Driving Law? Expect A Ticket
The grace period is over for people caught violating Georgia’s new hands-free driving law. Local law enforcement agencies are starting to focus on writing tickets.
The law prohibits drivers from holding cellphones with any part of their body while behind the wheel.
When the law went into effect last month, police in Gwinnett County and the city of South Fulton worked to teach drivers about the new rules. That was despite warnings from the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety that there would be no grace period.
Now, Cpl. Maureen Smith with South Fulton Police says people have had plenty of time to get the message.
“The education period is over. Everyone’s aware of the new law with all the educational materials and billboards. It is definitely something that drivers know about,” she said.
Smith says South Fulton police turned their focus to ticketing drivers starting last week. Gwinnett County police say they’re doing the same.
Neither department had data on how many stops officers conducted since the law went into effect July 1.
But officers in Gwinnett and South Fulton say they’re seeing results.
“Usage of devices that shouldn’t be used seems to be way down. That’s just from our experiences as we patrol in the county. There’s a lot less obvious phone use,” said Sgt. Jake Smith with Gwinnett County Police.
The Georgia Department of Public Safety says state patrol officers issued more than 900 tickets for violations of the hands-free law in its first month.