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Just a Man
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House Bill 684 673(News Article had the bill number wrong) or the distracted driving bill, which prohibits the use of cell phones or other devices while driving, will take effect on July 1.

Link to bill - http://www.legis.ga.gov/legislation/en-US/Display/20172018/HB/673

Under the bill, drivers are only allowed to touch their cell phones to dial, receive or end a phone call and GPS navigation. Drivers would not be allowed to hold an electronic device, text, browse the internet or watch and record videos.

If convicted of violating the law, drivers would face a fine of $300 and additional points added on to their driver's license. Repeat offenders would face bigger fines.

Read more: http://www.cbs46.com/story/38091600...o-sign-hands-free-bill-into-law#ixzz5EMAl8D88
 

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This one concerns me for a few reasons. First, how can an officer tell if I'm touching my phone to dial, receive, or end a phone call and that I'm not texting or surfing the internet? It seems like a great excuse to pull someone over in order to "fish" for other things. Do they have the right to inspect my phone to confirm whatever it was that I was, or was not, doing? Does everything on my phone then become subject to a search? My phone it set up to use facial recognition to unlock. Can they force me to look at it to unlock it for inspection. I suppose this might also extend to preventing me from recording the traffic stop itself. We already have distracted driving laws on the books that should apply to phones, GPS systems, Cokes, Big Macs, whatever. If you can't drive and do anything else without being distracted it looks like you are already breaking the law. Is the cell phone angle just a way to get access to other information?
Tom
 

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While we have distracted driving laws on the books, they are currently unenforceable when it comes to cell phones. By limiting the driver to not holding the phone, it becomes more easily enforceable. You can clearly still do some of the prohibited things as long as you're not holding it in your hand.

Recording a traffic stop is not a problem as you can certainly start a recording by voice command or simply after you've stopped. If you're serious about recording driving events, a dash cam is highly recommended anyway and are pretty cheap.
 

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Like a Boss
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Good thing we have these Republican majorities in Georgia, or we might end up with bigger government.
 

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I suspect at least 30 people would have a different theory on enforceability:

"Cracking down on distracted driving, the Oconee Sheriff's Office and the Georgia State Patrol made 96 traffic stops within a few hours in the area of Butlers Crossing and Epps Bridge Road last Friday.

Law enforcement wrote 59 citations, 30 of which were for operating wireless devices while driving."

http://www.oconeeenterprise.com/news/article_e855ddd0-8202-11e7-b4d5-bb984e79f038.html
 

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Why? Distracted is distracted.
Specifically, texting while driving is currently illegal and almost impossible to prove. Under the new law, having the device in your hand is illegal and far easier for officers to see and act on. That is the big difference. Also it's a point on your license now, where it wasn't before iirc. This makes it far easier to identify and punish chronic offenders.
 

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As I see it, the problem is the duration of time it is in your hand, since under the new law, you are allowed to dial or answer. What if it takes you 20-30 seconds to dial or answer? That is about as long as it might take to answer/send a text/email/FB post, etc. Without a time limit, it's all up to the cop. Yet another vaguely written law that makes it be a whim to the cop.

"But officer, I was only answering a call before I sat it on my seat and talked through the speakerphone". How is that gonna get you out of a ticket?
 

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I suspect at least 30 people would have a different theory on enforceability:
:lol: I had the same thought. A quick Google search reveals any number of articles on law enforcement agencies throughout Georgia writing dozens to hundreds of tickets for cell phone use under the current law.
 

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WSB did a profile on the Atlanta PD officer who wrote the most "texting while driving" tickets in the state. Guess what, he staked out a major intersection and ticketed people who were in cars waiting at a light. Yep, distracted while NOT driving.

When a government official says "safety" they really mean "revenue".
 

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I have seen so much conflicting info on this bill. First, the GA website lists it as HB673, but the above linked article calls it HB684.

It sounds like you can answer your phone as long as you are not holding it and if it only requires one button push. So it could be on a dash mount, but it would only be legal to use it if pressing one button answered and put it on speaker at the same time. With a smart phone, to legally dial out, you would have to be able to push a single contact (No swiping, no opening contacts and then dialing, etc.)
 

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I have seen so much conflicting info on this bill. First, the GA website lists it as HB673, but the above linked article calls it HB684.

It sounds like you can answer your phone as long as you are not holding it and if it only requires one button push. So it could be on a dash mount, but it would only be legal to use it if pressing one button answered and put it on speaker at the same time. With a smart phone, to legally dial out, you would have to be able to push a single contact (No swiping, no opening contacts and then dialing, etc.)
Thanks for the correct bill number. Here is the actual bill.
http://www.legis.ga.gov/legislation/en-US/Display/20172018/HB/673
 

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So no more talking while holding the phone against your ear? This is more distracting than talking with an ear piece?

I have yet to listen to a person with an ear piece where the quality of audio is sufficient to conduct a conversation. I almost always have to ask the other person to turn it off and speak into the phone.
 

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Wouldn't it be more distracting to get your earpiece and microphone and put them on and then answer the phone rather than just hit the button and put it to your ear and say, "Hello?"
 

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Wouldn't it be more distracting to get your earpiece and microphone and put them on and then answer the phone rather than just hit the button and put it to your ear and say, "Hello?"
You can't think of any other way to solve the problem? It's possible to talk hands free so clearly that no one even knows I'm riding a motorcycle at 70 mph, so I'm sure there's a way to do it in your car if you give it a half assed attempt.
 

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They can pound sand. I'm holding the phone to talk on it. I'm not going out and buying a bluetooth to talk on the phone if I need to.
 

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Irony: I can think of at least 2 occasions within the past couple of years where I pulled over to answer a phone call. Both times a cop stopped behind me to see what I was doing!

I predict a lot more of that after July 1.
 

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Thanks for all of the opinions guys. Yes, I suppose we could just use the speakerphone and call it good. My bigger concern is whether it gives a traffic cop legal access to our phones when we are pulled over, before we have even been convicted of a traffic violation. If I claim that I wasn't texting, just legally placing a call, will they claim the authority to confiscate my phone to verify the time and date stamp on my last text? What if I was sending an e-mail? Does that open up access to all of my saved e-mail messages? Oddly enough, I was behind a cop car in traffic just the other day. The driver was all over the road in a manner that would have gotten me pulled over in a heart beat. I pulled up in the lane beside him at the next stoplight and what was he doing? Fiddling with his onboard laptop. Do you suppose they have internet access on those things?
 

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On the topic of phone searches: my understanding is that courts have ruled the police can force you to provide your fingerprint or face ID to unlock a phone, but they cannot force you to provide a password or PIN.

On the latest version of iOS, holding the side button and volume up button simultaneously for a second (until the phone vibrates and shows the power off slider) will disable touch/face ID and require your password, which should prevent police from being able to compel a search. I'd guess Android has a similar function.
 
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