Georgia's Hands-Free Driving Law: what's legal and what isn't

The new law takes effect July 1st.

Georgia's new Hands-Free Driving Law will soon go into effect and NewsChannel 9 wants to make sure you aren't at risk of getting a ticket.

Texting and driving was already illegal in Georgia, but starting on July 1st, just holding your phone will be enough for police to stop you.

You can't even have it resting on your lap or between your legs and the seat.

"Oh wow, that's a lot more extensive than I thought," said Georgia driver Luis Tabares.

Patrolman First Class David Saylors with the Dalton Police Department (DPD) says there's still a lot of confusion about what's allowed and what isn't.

For instance, your phone can be in a cup holder, a mount, or on the console.

"But just because you're stopped at a red light or a stop sign you can't utilize that phone," said Saylors.

Luis Tabares told NewsChannel 9 he uses his phone for music and maps.

Saylors says if you're using hands-free technology, that's no problem.

Otherwise, if you're changing songs or addresses, you will have to pull over.

"Didn't know that either," said Tabares. "It's definitely going to be something I'm going to have to adjust to for sure, but I understand why it's being put in place."

Dalton Police say they plan to give drivers warnings for the first few weeks.

"It's going to take people's hands and put them back on the steering wheel, it's going to take people's eyes and put them back on the road and people's minds paying attention to what's going on in front of them," said Saylors.

The first offense will cost you $50 and 1 point on your license, the 2nd will cost you $100 and 2 points, and the third will cost you $150 and 3 points.

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