Texting and driving is illegal in Georgia. But state lawmakers want to take that one step further with a bill that would prohibit motorists from handling cellphones or other electronic devices while behind the wheel.
House Bill 673, which would restrict in-vehicle wireless communications to hands-free use only, has passed the Georgia House and Senate and now is headed to Gov. Nathan Deal’s desk. Deal has endorsed the bill.
The bill would make it illegal to operate a vehicle on any highway in the state while “conducting wireless communications without a hands-free accessory engaged.”
It also would prohibit “using more than a single touch or swipe of a finger” to initiate or terminate wireless communication, and reaching for an electronic device “in such a manner that requires the driver to maneuver in such a way that he or she is no longer in a seated driving position properly restrained by a safety belt.”
If Deal signs the bill into law, a first offense would be a misdemeanor carrying a minimum fine of $150.