Georgia closer to becoming a hands-free driving state in coming - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Georgia closer to becoming a hands-free driving state in coming days

Representative Darrel Ealum says the House Bill 673 could be signed within the next two weeks. (Source: WALB) Representative Darrel Ealum says the House Bill 673 could be signed within the next two weeks. (Source: WALB)
In 2014, lawmakers say more than 1,100 people died on Georgia roads. (Source: WALB) In 2014, lawmakers say more than 1,100 people died on Georgia roads. (Source: WALB)
Georgia lawmakers say they've been working on this bill since January on 2018. (Source: WALB) Georgia lawmakers say they've been working on this bill since January on 2018. (Source: WALB)
Something as simple as having a phone in your hand could be illegal. (Source: WALB) Something as simple as having a phone in your hand could be illegal. (Source: WALB)
House Bill 673 could affect all drivers in Georgia. (Source: WALB) House Bill 673 could affect all drivers in Georgia. (Source: WALB)
ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

The state of Georgia is moving closer to being a hands free driving state.

That's according to Georgia lawmakers who have been working since January to put House Bill 673 into motion. 

If the governor signs this bill within the coming days, something as simple as just holding a cell phone in your hands while behind a wheel, could be illegal.

This could also lead to violations, fines, and in the worst case, a potential homicide by vehicle charge.

Democratic State Representative Darrel Ealum of Albany said in 2014 more than 1,100 people died on Georgia roads, and in 2017 that number had gone up, by 30 percent. 

He said that's mostly because of distracted drivers. 

This left lawmakers ready to act quickly.

They drafted a hands-free driving a law for everyone across the state.

One Albany father of 6, said he's ready for it to be put in action. 

"I want my daughters to be safe, I want my grandchildren to be safe and I'm sure everyone that is looking and listening want their loved ones to be safe also," said Pastor Samuel Sneed.  

The state house and senate passed the legislation known as House Bill 673, in hopes of keeping more people alive, safe, and alert on the roadways. 

 "After session, the governor has 40 days to sign the bill and the finally day I believe will be the 8th of May," said Ealum. 

This means if the Governor signs it into law by that date, if you have any technology touching your body while driving, you could be fined $50 for the first offense up to $150 with a maximum of 6 points on your license.

"It's going to be clear cut. It's going to be clear, if you have a phone in your hand you're violating the law," said Ealum.  

So some feel it's best to get hands free technology now, to prepare. 

"I'm not really into the blue tooth but I'm going to find something that's safe, I'll definitely adhere to it," said Sneed. 

Now this bill is a big deal because it would effect every driver across the state. 

However, lawmakers said there are exceptions to this bill for law enforcement and first responder. 

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