Georgia officials working to educate public about hands-free driving law
There’s a new law to keep drivers safe in Georgia.
State officials are trying to get the word out about the new hands-free driving law that went into effect on July 1.
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“This is culture change. We've all been riding down the road doing this for 30 years and in Georgia, you can't do that anymore,” said Robert Hydrick, a spokesperson for the Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety.
The new law makes it illegal to have a phone in your hand talking on it while driving.
Hydrick is working to inform people throughout Georgia and in surrounding areas who plan to drive through the state.
“The big thing here is we're trying to change that behavior and get people to understand that when that phone rings, instead of picking it up, you reach over and press a button talking on a speakerphone or you've got a blue tooth speaker or an earpiece,” said Hydrick.
Even if you have hands-free technology, you can’t read, write, send text messages, emails or check social media while you’re driving in Georgia.
The new law started on Sunday. The Georgia State Patrol issued more than 100 citations and warnings that day.
They hope these reminders will help save lives.
“They know if people put their phones down and focus on driving, reducing the chance of crashes, they won't have to see as many people hurt and killed on our roads,” said Hydrick.
The penalty for the first citation is $50, the second is $100 and the third is $150.
You will also lose points on your license.