Spinning our Wheels

Spinning our Wheels is a commuting blog about the challenges of getting around Atlanta by car, bus, MARTA, bicycles and on foot written by transportation reporter David Wickert

Tell us: Will you let your teen use a phone while driving?

As The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported recently, Georgia teenagers are now free to talk on their phones while driving – as long as they’re using hands-free technology. 

That’s because the Hands-Free Georgia Act, which took effect July 1, treats teenagers and adults alike when it comes to using wireless devices while driving. Previously, Georgia prohibited adults from texting while driving, but allowed them to talk on (and hold) a phone. The old law prohibited anyone under 18 from using a wireless device at all while driving. 

The new law’s sponsor, state Rep. John Carson, R-Marietta, says the change will make it easier to enforce. Police can’t tell if someone using a phone while driving is 17 or 18. So under the new law, if you’ve got a phone in your hand, you’re violating the law, no matter no matter how old you are. 

Nonetheless, Carson says he may revisit teenagers’ use of wireless devices in next year’s legislative session. 

In the meantime, we’d like to hear from parents: Will you let your kids talk on the phone while driving, as allowed by the new law? Will you prohibit the practice, no matter what the law says? 

If you’re willing to be quoted in an upcoming AJC article, we’d love to hear from you. Contact dwickert@ajc.com.

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About the Author

David Wickert writes about transportation issues for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He previously worked for newspapers in Washington state, Illinois, Virginia and Tennessee.