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
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Georgia distracted driving law: How to win in court

As The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported last week, local police departments are preparing to enforce Georgia’s new distracted driving law, which takes effect this Sunday. 

The new law prohibits motorists from holding a phone or other electronic device while driving. A first offense will cost you $50 and one point on your driver’s license (motorists who accumulate 15 points in a 24-month period lose their license). A second offense costs $100 and two points, while a third costs $150 and three points. 

But there’s a little-discussed provision of the law that could help you get a distracted-driving citation tossed out. 

Under that provision, any person appearing in court for a first offense who produces a hands-free device or proof of purchase of such a device will not be guilty of the violation. The idea is to give you a chance to show you intend to comply with the law in the future. 

Think of it as a “get out of jail free” card. The provision requires you to affirm you have not used such a “card” in the past – so you can’t keep producing receipts to get out of subsequent violations. 

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You can learn more about how the new law will be enforced here. You can find more information about what’s legal and what’s not under the law here.

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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