Fire Chief urges citizens to – “….put those phones down and drive.”
AUGUSTA, GA—May 14, 2018 – Here at the Augusta Fire Department we would like to remind all of the citizens that The Hands-Free Georgia Act takes effect July 1. This law requires drivers to use hands-free technology when using cell phones and other electronic devices while driving.
As first responders, we see several accidents a week and often times they are caused by people being distracted by phones and other electronic devices while driving. So we feel that this new Hands-Free Georgia Law will help people around Augusta – PUT THOSE PHONES DOWN. Those cited will face a $150 fine, with fines as high as $900 for repeat offenders. First time offenders can receive 1 point against their driver’s licenses, with up to 4 points for repeat offenders.
The new law states that phone conversations and other forms of electronic communications can only be conducted with hands-free technology such as in-vehicle Bluetooth or some other wireless medium. This law will also apply to those individuals trying to wedge a phone between an ear and shoulder, or trying to text or dial from a phone resting in a lap.
We at Augusta Fire wanted to make sure you had a quick reminder of the Do’s and Don’ts of The Hands-Free Georgia Act – but more importantly, we want you to be safe while driving.
*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.
*Watching a video or movie other than watching data related to the navigation of your vehicle (i.e., your mapping app or GPS screen).
*Recording a video.
*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
If you are caught holding your phone and driving you could possibly get a ticket, points on your license and it could cost you money. You can still use your phone as a GPS; however, we just suggest you get a phone holder. Please use wireless/Bluetooth devices at all times. We hope this will stem the tide of accidents, injuries and fatalities as a results of distracted drivers.
“We like talking to you, not about you.” – Chief Christopher E. James
Fire Chief Christopher E. James –
“I believe this law will help reduce the amount of accidents that are caused by distracted drivers.”
“At the end of the day, we hope that people will just put those phones down and drive.”
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