Author of Hands-Free Georgia Act Clarifies Use of Music Streaming Apps

When the new Hands Free Georgia Act takes effect July 1st drivers will still be able to listen to music via their streaming apps on their cell phones.

That clarification was made Monday by the bill’s author, State Representative John Carson, a Republican from Marietta.

Rep. Carson sponsored HB 673 during the 2018 legislative session of the Georgia General Assembly, and Governor Nathan Deal recently signed this measure into law to create a hands-free driving law in Georgia.

In a further clarification from the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, while drivers may listen to music streaming apps on their phone while driving under the new law, they will not be allowed to activate their apps or change music through their phone while driving.

Music streaming apps that are programmed and controlled through the vehicle’s radio system are allowed, but music streaming apps that have video are not allowed since the law specifically prohibits drivers from watching videos.

GPS navigation and voice-to-text features will still be permitted.

The Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, the Georgia Department of Public Safety and local law enforcement officers recently reminded Georgia drivers that the law does not contain a 90-day grace period for enforcement.

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 starting July 1 where law enforcement officers believe they are warranted, especially those violations that involve traffic crashes.

This new hands-free driving law will prohibit drivers from holding or supporting a wireless telecommunication device or a stand-alone electronic device while operating a vehicle.

“According to recent data, we believe the public awareness of this new law is already saving lives,” said Rep. Carson. “We encourage all Georgians to implement the best practices stated in the Hands-Free Georgia Act prior to July 1, 2018, for the safety of all commuters on Georgia’s roadways.”