Georgia recently passed a new law that makes it illegal to text on a cell phone while driving.

The law now reads that one can be convicted under this statute “based upon the use of a mobile telephone for writing, sending, or reading a text based message or other purpose unrelated to engaging in spoken communication.

The statute does not define “driving”, so whether one can write or read a text while sitting at a red light for example is not certain since the statute also has no “moving” requirement. The fine for texting while driving may only be $150.00, it also carries one point on your driving record, which may result in higher insurance premiums or possibly even cancellation of your policy.


Under this doctrine, by breaking the law you are guilty without the need of any other proof of negligence and the injured party can prevail in a civil action against you. This opens the possibility of punitive damages. Often, insurance will not cover these. The injured party could be awarded enhanced damages as punishment for breaking the law.

Current prohibitions:

  • Use of handheld cell phones prohibited for all drivers. Effective July 1, 2018.
  • Text messaging banned for all drivers. Also sending of “Internet data.” Fines of $150 plus 1 point vs. license.
  • Drivers under the age of 18 prohibited from using cell phones, regardless of whether a hands-free device is attached. Also bans computer use. Fines of $150.
  • School bus operators prohibited from using cell phones while driving, if passengers are present.

More than 1,500 people died on Georgia roads last year. According to a State Patrol spokesman said many fatalities “are directly related to texting and driving or driving distracted.” Distractions also were blamed for a role in rising auto insurance rates in the state. The hands-free legislation does not take away your right to talk via your hands-free device; however, it may very well save your life or that of a loved one.