Georgia defines distracted driving as anything that distracts you from operating a vehicle safety. This includes using mobile devices to surf the Internet, talk, text, or chat.
Some of these distractions include:
- Talking to passengers
- Eating or drinking
- Watching a movie
- Reading a GPS system
- Adjusting the radio
Texting while driving is considered a distraction in Georgia and is deemed a traffic violation. Drivers of all ages are not allowed to text while behind the wheel, even with a hands free device. Drivers who are under the age of 18 are not allowed to use a cell phone at all. The only exception to this law are drivers who are parked and emergency personnel responding to emergencies.
A police officer can pull you over for texting and driving without any other reason. They can issue you a ticket, which comes with a fine.
- $150 and one point on your license
- Drivers who are parked may use their phones or text.
- Emergency personnel who are responding to an incident may text and use their cell phones.
If you are driving and need to make a phone call, you can do so without any penalty as long as you are over the age of 18. There is no hands free device needed. However, texting and driving is banned for drivers of all ages. The only exceptions are listed above. If you do need to make a phone call, it is best to pull over to the side of the road because distracted driving is dangerous. In 2010, almost 10 percent of all fatal traffic accidents occurred due to distracted driving, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Furthermore, if you do get in an accident and injure someone, you may be liable for the injuries you cause.
This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as Cell Phones and Texting: Distracted Driving Laws in Georgia and was authored by Valerie Johnston.