The Cherokee Sheriff’s Office would like to remind the public of the new upcoming law which takes effect July 1st 2018. The new law, commonly known as the “hands free law”, is the result of House Bill 673. The Sheriff’s Office, Traffic Enforcement Unit will hold a week long initiative beginning July 2nd to help educate motorist of the new law. During this week deputies will be out looking for violations of the new law and warning drivers of their violations. We are hoping this will help us keep our roads safe and prevent crashes in the county.
Gov. Nathan Deal signed House Bill 673, which would require drivers to use hands-free technology when using cell phones and other electronic devices while driving. But “hands free” isn’t as clear cut as it sounds. Here’s a look at what would and would not be allowed. The law takes effect July 1.
*Holding or supporting, with any part of the body, a wireless telecommunications device or stand-alone electronic device (for example, an iPod).
*Writing, sending or reading any text-based communication, including a text message, instant message, e-mail or internet data while holding your device.
*Watching a video or movie other than watching data related to the navigation of your vehicle (i.e., your mapping app or GPS screen).
*Recording a video.
*Speaking or texting while using hands-free technology.
*Using a GPS system or mapping app.
*Wearing and using a smart watch.
*Using an earpiece to talk on the phone.
*Using radios, CB radios, CB radio hybrids, commercial two-way radios, subscription-based emergency communication devices, prescribed medical devices, amateur or ham radios and “in-vehicle security, navigation or remote diagnostics” systems.
*There are circumstances where you can handle an electronic device while driving: Reporting a traffic accident, medical emergency, fire, a crime or delinquent act or a hazardous road condition. You can also use your hands if you’re lawfully parked (not at a stoplight – “lawfully” means off or beside the road in an area open to parking).
*Some people are exempt from the hands-free requirement if they’re performing official duties: police, firefighters, emergency medical personnel, ambulance drivers, other first responders and utility employees or contractors responding to a utility emergency.