Under the new hands-free law:
- A driver is prohibited from having a phone in his or her hand or using any other part of their body to support a phone.
- Drivers may only use their phones to make or receive phone calls via speakerphone, earpiece, wireless headphone or if the phone is connected to the vehicle itself or an electronic watch.
- Headsets and earpieces may only be worn for communication purposes and may not be used for listening to music or other entertainment purposes.
- A driver may not send or read any text-based communication unless using voice-based services like Siri or Alexa that automatically convert their message to written text.
- A driver may not write, send or read any text messages, emails, social media or internet data content.
- A driver may not watch a video unless it is for navigation.
- A driver may not record a video -- continuously running dashcams are exempt from this rule.
- Music streaming apps may be used, provided the driver activates and programs them when they are parked. They may also be activated and programmed via voice command. Drivers cannot touch their phones to do anything to their music apps when they are on the road.
- Music streaming apps that include video are not allowed since drivers are not permitted to watch videos while on the road. Drivers can listen to and program music streaming apps that are connected to and controlled through their vehicle's radio.
- GPS apps like Waze or Google Maps may also be used -- provided the address or other navigational data is punched in before a motorist begins driving or the navigational data is provided via voice-based input.
Exceptions to the law:
- Reporting a traffic crash, medical emergency, fire, criminal activity or hazardous road condition.
- An employee or contractor of a utility service provider acting within the scope of their employment while responding to a utility emergency.
- A first responder (law enforcement, fire, EMS) during the performance of their official duties.
- When in a lawfully parked vehicle. This DOES NOT include vehicles stopped for traffic signals and stop signs on public roadways.
Citations can and will be issued starting July 1 for any violation of Hands-Free Law, including those where the violation involves a traffic crash. There is not a 90-day grace period provision in the Hands-Free Law.
The fines and penalties for violators of Georgia's Hands-Free law are as follows:
- First conviction: $50, one point on a license;
- Second conviction: $100, two points on a license;
- Third and subsequent convictions: $150, three points on a license.
If a driver receives 15 points in penalties within a 2-year period, their driver's license would be suspended.