Marietta hands-free driving law begins April 1

A new hands-free driving law will go into effect on April 1 in Marietta.

The Marietta City Council voted 6-1 Feb. 14 to approve the ordinance with Councilman Joseph R. Goldstein opposed.

Similar to Georgia’s proposed hands-free driving law in House Bill 673, the city’s ordinance is designed to address the fact that 60 percent of roadway fatalities in Georgia involve a driver’s failure to maintain his/her lane.

Washington, D.C. and 15 states have implemented hands-free driving laws with 13 of those states reporting an average decrease of 17.5 percent in traffic fatalities since their laws were passed.

As is true of Smyrna’s hands-free driving law awaiting Georgia General Assembly action, Marietta’s law will last two years to gather data on the law’s effectiveness.

Exceptions would apply to reporting an emergency, for first responders or public utility employees or for motorists parked off the road.

Marietta fines will not exceed $150 per violation but will include a record forwarded to the Georgia Department of Driver Services.