HB 673 Georgia distracted driving bill passed: What's legal, what's not?


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The Georgia General Assembly late Thursday approved House Bill 673, which would require drivers to use hands-free technology when using cell phones and other electronic devices while driving. But “hands free” isn’t as clear cut as it sounds. Here’s a look at what would and would not be allowed, assuming it is signed by Gov. Nathan Deal as expected.

Georgia distracted driving bill: What's legal, what's not? -AJC


*Holding or supporting, with any part of the body, a wireless telecommunications device or stand-alone electronic device (for example, an iPod).

*Writing, sending or reading any text-based communication, including a text message, instant message, e-mail or internet data while holding your device.

*Reaching for a device if it means you’re no l6onger in a seated, driving position or properly restrained by a seat belt.

*Watching a video or movie other than watching data related to the navigation of your vehicle (i.e., your mapping app or GPS screen).


*Speaking or texting while using hands-free technology.

*Using a GPS system or mapping app.

*Wearing and using a smart watch.

*Using an earpiece to talk on the phone.

*Using radios, CB radios, CB radio hybrids, commercial two-way radios, subscription-based emergency communication devices, prescribed medical devices, amateur or ham radios and “in-vehicle security, navigation or remote diagnostics” systems.

*There are circumstances where you can handle an electronic device while driving: Reporting a traffic accident, medical emergency, fire, a crime or delinquent act or a hazardous road condition. You can also use your hands if you’re lawfully parked (not at a stoplight – “lawfully” means off or beside the road in an area open to parking).

*Some people are exempt from the hands-free requirement if they’re performing official duties: police, firefighters, emergency medical personnel, ambulance drivers, other first responders and utility employees or contractors responding to a utility emergency.

You can learn more about HB 673 and the debate it sparked at myajc.com.


*Watching a video or movie other than watching data related to the navigation of your vehicle (i.e., your mapping app or GPS screen).

I sometimes call mom on facetime, is that illegal now too? Unclear.

If talking to mom is criminalized l, then only the criminals will talk to moms.


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First it was open containers. Now it is handheld devices. No more drunk texts while driving! Geez, what's next? Govt is taking all the fun out of climbing behind the wheel.


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So does the Uber app fall under the navigation exception?
I can only assume yes, as long as it's in a holster type thing:

*Using a GPS system or mapping app.

but if you're accepting a text from a passenger with your hands, and are not 'safely stopped' then that could be an issue.

by safely stopped they mean, pulled over to the side, not stopped at a stop light.

Zen Unicorn

I wonder how long it will take for lawsuits based on distraction by SMS pushed by the app. I'd much rather they had gate code/apt details for the pickup and leave texts out of it. Hell, for the share they take they should be able to have a call center handle all this crap.

Not sure in what universe FaceTime video while driving has been safe or legal?