On July 1st, a new distracted driving law went into effect here in Georgia. This law was made in response to an increasing problem that the 2010 texting while driving law wasn’t addressing. But will this new law succeed where the old one failed? The fighting attorneys from Macon want to find out.
Can a New Georgia Distracted Driving Law Succeed Where the Last One Failed?
Since 2010, the number of automotive crashes in Georgia have gone up. Officials blamed these increasing numbers on distracted driving, but Georgia passed no texting while driving laws back in 2010. So, what happened?
In December of 2017, Georgia’s House of Representatives released a report about the distracted driving problem. That report claims that police and highway patrol had trouble enforcing the law because they could not tell if drivers were texting or just dialing the telephone. This loophole is one of many closed by the new law.
Georgia House Bill 673, also known as the Hands-Free Georgia Act, bans drivers from touching their smartphones while driving. According to the law, drivers can receive calls and make them, but they must use handsfree devices to do so. The bill is also more comprehensive, banning video streams and recording video (unless a dashcam is recording). The exceptions to the law are when reporting traffic accidents, medical emergencies, hazardous road conditions, criminal activity or fires. Employees or contractors that use their phones (like first responders and utility workers) are also exempt as long as there are performing their official duties.
With the waves being made over this new law, traffic crashes have already gone down 11 percent so far. However, we will have to wait to see if this trend continues. The personal injury attorneys here at McArthur Law Firm are hopeful that this new law will help make Macon safer. But we will also continue to fight for anyone hurt by a distracted driver while out on Georgia’s beautiful roads.