SMYRNA, Ga – The city of Smyrna could become the first in Georgia to require drivers to go “hands free” while using their phones.
City Councilman Derek Norton has proposed a new ordinance that will go for a vote next Monday. If approved, the law would take effect inside Smyrna’s city limits at the first of the year.
“This is cut and dry,” says Norton. “If you’re using your phone and you have it in your hand for any reason, you’ll get a ticket.”
Current Georgia law prohibits texting and driving. Norton’s proposal would make it illegal to use your phone for any purpose while it’s in your hand, whether it’s to carry on a conversation or use phone apps.
11Alive’s Commuter Dude stood along Atlanta Road in Smyrna to observe passing drivers. Most were focused on the road, but there were many who had their phone to their ear, or were scrolling through their phone while stopped at a traffic light.
Norton says drivers would be able to use their phones as long as they’re mounted, or if the driver is using Bluetooth technology. The key is to remove the phone from the driver’s hand.
We are hands free…and parked…as we talk to Norton about his idea.
“The only people who’ve expressed opposition are the people who didn’t want to wear seatbelts,” says Norton.
Should the proposal pass on Monday, Norton says the fine for violating the law could be around $150.