Heads-up to our local commuters who travel Interstate 24 each day and to all of those headed to-and-from Chattanooga via I-24 through Dade County in North Georgia.
Drivers in Georgia and those who cross the state line have a new law to follow. The law, which went into effect on Sunday, requires drivers to be hands-free.
Officials with law enforcement agencies said rear-end crashes and single-car crashes from younger drivers are clear indications of distracted driving.
In 2014, more than 3,000 people were killed nationwide in vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers. Georgia passed a hands-free law to reduce the number of distracted drivers in hopes of saving lives.
Texting while driving has been illegal in Georgia since 2010, but now drivers aren’t allowed to touch their phones at all under the new law.
Drivers must instead use Bluetooth for GPS, changing music and making calls, leaving them otherwise completely focused on the road.
Officials say in an effort to educate drivers, officers will issue a warning for the first few months. However, a $50 citation can be written.
Georgia is now the 16th state in the U.S. to pass a hands-free law.