Smyrna becomes first city to have hands-free driving law

Smyrna becomes first city to have hands-free driving law
Earlier this week, Smyrna city leaders voted in favor of a hands-free ordinance. (Source: WALB)
Earlier this week, Smyrna city leaders voted in favor of a hands-free ordinance. (Source: WALB)
Representative Gerald Greene (Source: WALB)
Representative Gerald Greene (Source: WALB)

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - A city northwest of Atlanta just became the first city in the state to have a hands-free driving law.

Earlier this week, Smyrna city leaders voted in favor of a hands-free ordinance.

Fifteen states have already banned drivers from using their cell phones while driving but Georgia lawmakers said it will be some time before there's a statewide restriction.

However, Smyrna's recent ordinance could change those discussions.

On Tuesday, council members approved a new hands-free law that prohibits the use of handheld mobile telephones or portable electronic devices while driving.

Representative Gerald Greene believes it's a step in the right direction.

And it will likely signal lawmakers to create legislation to try to stop fatal crashes on Georgia roads caused by distracted driving.

"We have laws on the books about texting and things of this nature but we need something a little bit stronger, something that will catch the attention of our youth," said Greene.

Representative Greene said there needs to be statewide legislation otherwise there will be several cities and counties with different ordinances and that will confuse drivers and become less effective.

He said there's already a bill that's been introduced for several years.

It's unclear if it will be introduced again when the General Assembly starts back on January 8.

Smyrna's hands-free law will go into effect on April 2.

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