In addition to knowing how to be courteous when using cell phones, we need to be aware of the laws that apply to their use. The most obvious (and frequently problematic) laws regarding cell phone use are related to using them on the road.
Do you know the laws regarding cell phone usage while driving?
If you are a Georgia driver with an instruction permit or a Class D license, and you are under 18 years old, it is illegal for you to use a “wireless telecommunications device” to “engage in a wireless communication” at any time while in your vehicle unless it is legally parked. (To be clear, stopping at a red light or a stop sign is NOT legally parked). It’s also important to know exactly what the laws of Georgia mean when they talk about wireless devices and wireless communications.
According to Georgia law (Section 40-6-241.1 ), a wireless communications device is a cell phone, texting device, personal digital assistant, stand alone computer, or other wireless device used to conduct wireless communication between individuals. Similarly, when the law references wireless communications, they are referring to any of the following activities: talking, texting, writing, sending, reading, or listening to a wireless communications device.
You may assume that there are exceptions to the rule, and you would be right, but they probably aren’t the exceptions you are hoping for. The above limitations on cell phone usage while driving have very limited exceptions:
- Reporting a traffic accident, medical emergency, or significant road hazard
- Reporting a situation in which the driver feels their personal safety is at risk
- Reporting or averting a criminal act against the driver or other individual
Drivers over 18 aren’t off the hook, either. No drivers in Georgia are permitted to use a wireless telecommunications device to text, instant message or email or otherwise access internet data. Drivers who break this law could be subject to $150 fine and assessment of a point their driver’s license. If the driver is involved in a wreck at the time of their offense, the fine could double and the incident could result in a point being assessed on their license.
If you have questions about how an instructional permit or Class D license will affect the consequences of traffic violations, please get in touch with Ghanouni Teen & Young Adult Defense Firm so we can discuss the matter with you in detail.