Drivers react to Georgia's new Hands-Free law

Georgia's

Georgia's"hands free law went into effect on Monday

For years, most Georgia teenagers have been prohibited from using phones and other wireless devices while driving. The group, which arose in the aftermath of Merritt's death, will also be partnering with the like-minded StopDistractions.org to further drive home why the new law is far more than a collection of words on paper.

In South Carolina, it is illegal for motorists to text and drive, but hand-held cell phone use is still permitted and drivers are allowed to use the Global Positioning System feature on their handheld device for navigation purposes.

In Georgia, all of that is illegal now.

And drivers here in Alabama like the sound of that. "It was a struggle", said State Senator Jim McClendon.

He said he believed the struggle was worth it to cut down on distracted driving.

"If someone has a phone in their hand and they're driving, and they're tapping it, are they putting in a phone number, or are they sending a text message?"

"When someone says you might lose your first-born, or any child, it becomes a different moment", said Anna Levitan.

The Georgia State Patrol and local law enforcement agencies are out in full force, looking for drivers violating the new law.

Now the only time you can have your phone in your hand, or in your lap, is if you're parked off to the side of the road or in a parking lot. You cannot touch your phone while sitting at a red light or a stop sign.

The main exemption to the rule is that drivers can talk on the phone and use Global Positioning System as long as it's through hands-free technology, such as Bluetooth.

"Those kids have never known a time in their life without some form of entertainment in their hands", she said. "I don't need anything to distract me". "Pull over to the side of the road". "Think about a loved one that you might not see tomorrow and don't pick up your phone.it's not that important".

Senator McClendon is hopeful Alabama will follow Georgia's lead and enact a stricter law.

He said he may introduce similar legislation next year.

"So, for a couple days now we're going to have a pretty strong campaign to target drivers that are not complying with the new hands-free law and take the opportunity to educate them", Redmon said.

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