Put the phone down! Georgia will likely be the 16th state to go hands-free

- It is time drivers started getting used to putting down the phone when behind the wheel. Georgia Lawmakers passed a proposal that would require drivers to use hands-free technology when using cell phones.

It can be seen all the time, almost anywhere, people driving down the road with a phone in their hand. But that could soon change under a bill just passed in Georgia.

"The phone is allowed to be in the car, but while your car is moving or even when it's stopped, you're not allowed to pick the phone up, dial numbers, punch in addresses, that type of thing," said Stormi Kenney who owns Kennesaw Driving School.

Kenney said as an instructor she has been preaching about the dangers of distracted driving for years. She will tell students to keep the phone out of sight and out of reach.

"Turn the phones off, put them on silent, put them out of reach so they don't have the temptation of checking the phone," said Kenney.

Drivers will still be able to use phones to talk as long as it has some type of hands-free device. As for using a GPS, it can be mounted it on the dash, but be sure to punch in the address before leaving.

Linda Nordahl said it may take a while for some to get used to it.

"It's going to be very challenging because we've all gotten so addicted to this device, we have to know what's going on right away," said Nordahl.

If caught with that phone in hand, drivers face a fine. It starts at $50 and goes up for repeat offenders. That first $50 can be waived if the offender goes to court and proves they have a hands-free device.

"I think it's absolutely long overdue, I'm glad to see this is finally coming to fruition," said Cris Welsh who lives in Cobb County.

Governor Nathan Deal said he supported the bill. If he signs it, Georgia would be the 16th state to go hands-free.

MORE: Georgia’s 2018 Legislative Session

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