Most people in Acworth, Georgia are aware that a statewide ban on handheld electronic devices was enacted last year as the Hands Free Georgia Act. The law is intended to reduce incidents of distracted driving. But now new legislation is being proposed to prevent the use of all electronic devices from drivers under the age of 18.
The Hands Free Georgia Act, both texting and speaking on a cell phone use became illegal for all drivers unless the phone was a ‘hands free” device and operated by voice commands. HB 113 creates additional prohibitions for most drivers under the age of 18. Those with a Class D provisional permit or an instructional permit are prohibited from using any electronic communication device, whether hands-free or not. Fines could be as high as $150 for violations. The bill recently passed the House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee.
Testimony given at committee hearings claimed a higher rate of teen accidents and teen fatalities while driving is the reason for the proposed legislation. Some committee members questioned whether utilizing a hands-free musical device is also prohibited under the proposed bill. Other states passing driving restrictions for those under 18 is that a minor is just beginning to drive and needs sufficient time to develop driving skills.
If someone is involved in an accident when a safety law is violated, negligence is easier to prove. In Georgia and elsewhere all drivers must operate a vehicle in a reasonable manner, regardless of whether cell phone use is legal or illegal.
Driving in a reasonable manner entails maintaining a proper lookout and paying reasonable attention to other drivers on the road. Those injured in an accident where another person was distracted while driving might benefit from seeking the counsel of an experienced personal injury attorney as soon a practicable.