Panel Supports Bill to combat Distracted Driving in Georgia

Staff Report From Georgia CEO

Tuesday, February 27th, 2018

The House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee passed House Bill 673, sponsored by State Representative John Carson (R-Marietta), Chairman of the House Study Committee on Distracted Driving, on Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018. HB 673 would create a hands-free driving law in Georgia.

“Thank you to the members of the House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee for thoroughly vetting this critical public safety measure, which will save countless lives,” said Rep. Carson. “Throughout this process, we’ve sought input from Georgians whose lives have been devastated by distracted driving, as well as law enforcement personnel, medical professionals and representatives from the insurance and transportation sectors; these groups overwhelmingly support HB 673. Our state needs hands-free driving legislation to protect all Georgians, and I hope that the House will favorably consider this life-saving bill.”

Under this proposed statewide hands-free driving law, Georgia drivers would be required to use their mobile devices on a “hands-free” basis. Drivers would be permitted to touch their cell phones to dial, receive or end a phone call, as well as for GPS navigation. Additionally, drivers would be prohibited from holding their phones or any other electronic device, texting, internet browsing, watching or recording videos, or reaching for their phones or any other electronic device.

Anyone convicted of violating this proposed hands-free legislation would be fined $300. Additionally, this measure would increase the points assessed against one’s driver’s license.

The bill will now go to the House Rules Committee for approval, which is the last stage in the committee process before a bill can be eligible for a vote on the House floor by the full body of the House. If passed by the House, HB 673 would repeat the same process in the Senate.