Local police and sheriff’s departments will be increasing patrols to remind drivers of the Hands Free Law in Georgia which also goes into effect in Tennessee on July 1.

Beginning July 1, the Catoosa County Sheriff’s Office will assign more deputies to hold concentrated patrols throughout the county in order to identify distracted driving, speeding and impaired driving, along with all other law violations.

“We are still seeing a number of people not obeying the hands-free law in Georgia and with Tennessee’s law going into effect July 1, now is a good time to remind everyone operating a motor vehicle on the roadways in Georgia about the law already in effect,” said Catoosa County Sheriff Gary Sisk.

The efforts in Catoosa County will happen at the same time as the Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety 100 Days of Summer H.E.A.T. (Highway Enforcement of Aggressive Traffic) campaign. The campaign is designed to reduce fatal crash counts during Georgia’s deadly holiday driving period from Memorial Day through Labor Day.

The East Ridge Police Department and Department of Safety and Homeland Security will team up to make drivers in Tennessee aware of the Hand Free Law taking effect on July 1.

This law requires drivers to put down their phones and focus on the road.

East Ridge police say there were over 24,600 crashes involving a distracted driver in Tennessee in 2018.

East Ridge police say a recent study listed Tennessee as having the highest rate of distracted driving deaths in the nation. That rate is nearly five times the national average.

Click here for more information on Tennessee's Hands Free Law.

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