Teachers, students share thoughts on new ‘distracted driving’ bill

Passed by General Assembly, it awaits Gov. Nathan Deal’s signature to become law on July 1

A new bill could make it against the law to hold your cell phone while driving in Georgia.

House Bill 673, which passed the General Assembly on March 30, now awaits the signature of Gov. Nathan Deal before it can become law.

If passed, Georgia will become the 19th state to join the “Hands Free Driving” initiative.

Since many older model vehicles do not come equipped with blue-tooth capabilities, drivers will either have to use a speaker phone, upgrade their equipment or purchase a newer vehicle. Under the new law, drivers also would not allowed to maneuver their GPS system while behind the wheel.

“I do think the new Distracted Driving law will help but, at the same time, it has to be enforced,” said Coach Miles Pippin, the Driver’s Education instructor at Stratford. “It will be good for kids to know what the laws are. But if law enforcement does not truly enforce them, it’s not going to help.”

Fines would be $50 fine for the first citation and $100 for the second violation.

If the governor signs the bill, the new law is expected to go into effect on July 1.