Has Georgia's 'Hands Free' law changed driving behavior?

State police break down number of violations issued since July 1

GEORGIA – Georgia’s “Hands Free" law has been in effect for the last six months but some people aren’t convinced the crackdown has put the brakes on distracted driving.

Carol Story is among those who don’t believe the law has changed people’s behaviors with using their phone while driving.

"I see the signs everywhere. But they still drive with their phone in their hand," Story said.

Since the law went into effect July 1, state police said they have issued thousands of citations to drivers they say were caught violating the “Hands Free” law.  

  • The Waycross Police Department has issued 103 citations and 87 warnings between Jul. 1st and Dec. 31 for distracted driving.
  • As of last week, the Kingsland Police Department has issued 55 citations.
  • In Brunswick, the police department has written 35 citations.
  • Three citations were issued in St. Marys.
  • Glynn County Police Department has issued 93 citations and 66 written warnings.

Georgia's Hands Free Law bans drivers from holding any electronic devices, like a cellphone. Drivers cannot send text messages or emails, watch video, surf the web or record video.

Drivers are allowed to talk or using hands-free technology to text, use a GPS app or use an earpiece to talk on the phone.

While many people appear to be heeding the warning, others say drivers still need to do better.

About the Authors:

Ashley Harding joined the Channel 4 news team in March 2013 and reports every weekday for The Morning Show.