Georgia’s new hands-free driving law has been in effect for under a week now and while some law enforcement agencies are actively enforcing the law using citations, others are setting a grace period to educate drivers on the new law.
If you’re still not sure what is and isn’t allowed under the new law, you can read up on it here.
While you may be aware of how your city or county is handling the law this month, chances are you will be driving across city and county lines at some point. Here is a rundown of how some of Georgia’s counties and municipalities are handling the early days of the new law.
Georgia State Patrol
The Georgia State Patrol is actively pulling drivers over for violations of the new law. As of July 4, the Georgia State Patrol reported troopers had stopped more than 100 people for violating the hands-free law.
Alpharetta police are warning drivers that there is no statutory grace period. The law is being actively enforced.
Many officers will be issuing warnings for violations in the first months of the law as part of the education effort, but citations can and will be issued where officers believe they are warranted, especially those violations that involve traffic crashes.
Cobb Police are issuing verbal or written warnings for the first month of the new law, but may issue citations if the violation results in a traffic crash.
The Forsyth County Sheriff’s office will have what Forsyth’s sheriff describes as an “impromptu grace period,” where drivers will be given warnings unless the officer deems the violation was putting other drivers in danger. Like Dalton, there is no publicly-available end date for the grace period.
Gwinnett Officials told the AJC that police there plan to issue warnings and educational pamphlets until Aug. 1
The Sheriff’s office didn’t start issuing citations for violations of the new law until Wednesday. According to the Augusta Chronicle, officers were stationed at high-accident intersections Monday with signs warning drivers about the hands-free law.
Savannah Police say they are planning to issue warnings for the first 30 days of the law in an effort to work with drivers, according to the Savannah Morning News.
Fulton County is among several law enforcement agencies where police officers can choose to issue a warning or a citation at the officer’s discretion based on the situation, according to Neighbor Newspapers.
Like Fulton County, Baldwin County police intend to give drivers a 30-day grace period, but whether or not a motorist gets a citation is left up to the officer’s discretion.
Source: The Union-Recorder
Officers are conducting a safety initiative during the first week the law is in effect. This includes signage and safety checkpoints during the week. However, officials told the Cherokee Tribune that there will be no grace period.
Dalton Police will observe a grace period for the new law, but be careful. The department isn’t telling the public how long that grace period will last.
Source: The Valdosta Daily Times
Columbus police will use some discretion, but are actively enforcing the law with no grace period.
Source: The Ledger-Enquirer
Question: What has your experience with the new hands-free driving law been? Have you been pulled over? Share your stories in the comments section below.