When it comes to distracted driving, the use of cell phones and social media apps have led to numerous car accidents and deaths over the last few years. As such, the Georgia legislature worked to pass House Bill 673 during the summer of 2018, which is referred to as the “hands-free” or “distracted driving” law. Given the name of the law, one might assume that they understand the new responsibilities of drivers. Yet, that’s not the case for everyone. Do you understand the new addition to Georgia’s law in regards to texting and driving and using a mobile device?
To begin, House Bill 673 is now considered an Act, and has essentially amended Title 40 of the Official Code of Georgia. The change explains a driver’s responsibility to practice due care regarding the use of a cell phone or wireless telecommunication device. Changes are also reflected in the penalties associated with violation of the Act, specifically code section 40-6-241. Moreover, the bill clarifies what is considered a “wireless telecommunications device” under section 4 of the law. Examples are listed below:
- a cellular or portable telephone
- a text-messaging device
- a personal digital assistant
- a stand-alone computer
- a global positioning system receiver
- a portable wireless device used to initiate or receive communication, information or data
To further explain, drivers cannot hold a wireless telecommunications device in hand, or support it with any part of their body. They cannot place it in their lap or balance it on their shoulder. In turn, they cannot send a text or read a text, including direct messages or emails. However, it is important to understand that one can initiate a text using voice-activated communication.
Despite the newly amended legislation and the emphasis on “arrive alive” and other campaigns, the sobering reality concerning Georgia’s new hands-free law is that the leading cause of distracted driving is the act of texting while driving. That’s why it is imperative to contact a cell phone accident lawyer if you or a loved one has been injured or killed in an accident in Atlanta or a surrounding area.
At Burnside Law Firm, our team is experienced and skilled when it comes to automobile accidents, including those caused by texting and driving. We’ve seen first-hand the devastation caused by distracted driving accidents, and we’re committed to fighting for the maximum compensation possible in your case. To discuss your claim, call us today!
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