Georgia’s statutory regulation of distracted driving, the
Hands-Free Georgia Act, went into effect in July 2018. The Act
is rife with ambiguous and uncertain language that fails to
apprise drivers of the legal and practical consequences of their
actions. But in the three years since the Act’s passage, neither
the legislature nor the courts have addressed these issues.
With its many exceptions, the Act neither protects drivers’
constitutional rights nor adequately curtails dangerous
driving. Vagueness in the Act’s numerous exceptions, Fourth
Amendment concerns, and the potential for pretextual stops
and racial profiling present potential legal issues on which
litigants may base challenges to the Act in the future. To ensure
the safety of Georgia’s roads, the Act must carefully balance the
dangers of distracted driving with the rights of drivers. This
Note presents possible solutions for the legislature or courts to
implement to improve the Act, clarify its future interpretation,
and achieve this precise balance.
Smith, Hunter G.
"Legal Work Ahead: Potential Potholes for the Hands-Free Georgia Act,"
Georgia Law Review: Vol. 55:
3, Article 10.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.law.uga.edu/glr/vol55/iss3/10