Georgia recently began enforcing a new hands-free law in Augusta, GA. The law aims at curbing the distraction of drivers while they are on the road. The authorities hope to reduce the over 2000 annual deaths caused by distracted driving. Distracted driving is any activity an individual engages in that distracts from driving. Distracted driving is a major concern because it can increase the risk of negligence and lead to an accident.
How Will the Hands-Free Law in Augusta Impact Drivers?
The law determines what you can and can’t do with your phone while driving. It says you can no longer “hold or support” your phone or other electronic devices as you drive. That means the phone cannot be in your hand or lap. It also should not be touching any other body part while you drive. Due to the Hands-Free Law in Augusta, you cannot:
- Text as you drive. That has been prohibited since 2010 and is maintained in the hands-free law.
- Dial a phone number.
- Record a video or watch videos. (Continuous running dashboard cameras are allowed).
- Reply to an email.
- Skype, Facetime or use any of the other video chat apps.
- Change your music playlist or select a podcast.
- Select a destination on a GPS system. You should set this before you start your journey.
- Check your Facebook and Instagram account.
- Use headphones or other ear devices to listen to music.
What is allowed under the Hands-Free Law in Augusta?
- Speaking and sending text messages using hands-free technology.
- Using your navigation systems.
- Wearing and using a smartwatch.
- Using your phone normally for emergency calls.
- On your phone if lawfully parked in a lot or driveway. Using it at a stop light is not allowed.
- Using prescribed medical devices.
If You Are Caught Using a Phone in Augusta, GA You Need Car Wreck Attorneys
As a first-time offender, you will receive one point on your license plus a $50 fine. After that, under the Hands-Free Law in Augusta, each offense will add a point and another $50 fine. So a second offense will see you pay a $100 fine and get 2 points on your license. The third and subsequent offenses will see you get 3 points and $150 fine. You will need a lawyer to help you if you want to fight these charges and avoid the penalties.
How Do You Ensure You Follow the New Hands-Free Law in Augusta, GA?
Since it is illegal to handle a mobile device while driving you can:
- Enable Bluetooth on your device. Many automakers offer Bluetooth support for the vehicle’s infotainment. Pair your device with the system and you will have hands-free connectivity in the car. If a call comes when you are driving you will use the car’s microphone and speaker. You won’t touch your phone.
- Set the phone to auto answer. When leaving for your destination, set the phone on auto answer. When someone calls, the call will be answered automatically. Your hands remain on the wheel.
- Put away your phone. If you don’t need to make any calls, keep the phone away and out of reach. You can check it later when you finish your trip.
The Georgia police will check your phone records should you be in an accident. They will be trying to see if you were on the phone prior to the crash. If you are found to have been using the phone, you could face serious charges. If anyone was hurt because of your negligence you could also face a personal injury lawsuit from the victim. This is in addition to the penalties under the Hands-Free Law in Augusta.
Call a Car Accident Attorney for Details on the New Hands-Free Law in Augusta
If you sustained injuries in an accident caused by a distracted driver, you can claim damages for injuries. If accused of distracted driving, contact an Augusta car accident lawyer. They will help you prove that the driver was negligent or distracted causing the accident. A car wreck attorney will also help you to fight your case if accused.
If you have questions, contact Ted A. Greve & Associates for a free consultation. Get in touch either online or by calling this toll-free number 844-387-8677.