Spinning our Wheels

Spinning our Wheels is a commuting blog about the challenges of getting around Atlanta by car, bus, MARTA, bicycles and on foot written by transportation reporter David Wickert

Georgia's distracted driving law: Have you put down your phone?

As The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported last week, the Georgia State Patrol began aggressively enforcing the state’s new distracted driving law during the holidays after cutting motorists some slack for several months.

Troopers issued 8,389 citations for violations of the Hands-Free Georgia Act — which took effect July 1 — in the second half of 2018. They issued more than 2,000 citations in December alone. 

The law prohibits motorists from holding or otherwise supporting a cell phone or other electronic devices while driving (you can find more details about what’s allowed and what’s not here). 

One trooper told the AJC that while plenty of people are violating the law, he’s seen a difference in drivers’ behavior. Before, motorists with phones in their hands seldom bothered to hide it from police. 

“Now, if you find somebody with a cell phone in their hands, they’re trying to hide it,” said Sgt. Logan Gass. “That tells me they know better.” 

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Now, we want to know: Have you changed your behavior since the law took effect? Have you gone hands-free? Are you still holding your phone while driving, but being sneakier about it? Have you noticed a change in other drivers? 

If you’re willing to be quoted in an upcoming article, contact reporter David Wickert: dwickert@ajc.com.

About the Author

David Wickert writes about transportation issues for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He previously worked for newspapers in Washington state, Illinois, Virginia and Tennessee.

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