2015 Georgia Code
§ 40-6-241.1 - Definitions; prohibition on certain persons operating motor vehicle while engaging in wireless communications; exceptions; penalties

GA Code § 40-6-241.1 (2015) What's This?

(a) As used in the Code section, the term:

(1) "Engage in a wireless communication" means talking, writing, sending, or reading a text-based communication, or listening on a wireless telecommunications device.

(2) "Wireless telecommunications device" means a cellular telephone, a text-messaging device, a personal digital assistant, a stand alone computer, or any other substantially similar wireless device that is used to initiate or receive a wireless communication with another person. It does not include citizens band radios, citizens band radio hybrids, commercial two-way radio communication devices, subscription-based emergency communications, in-vehicle security, navigation, and remote diagnostics systems or amateur or ham radio devices.

(b) Except in a driver emergency and as provided in subsection (c) of this Code section, no person who has an instruction permit or a Class D license and is under 18 years of age shall operate a motor vehicle on any public road or highway of this state while engaging in a wireless communication using a wireless telecommunications device.

(c) The provisions of this Code section shall not apply to a person who has an instruction permit or a Class D license and is under 18 years of age who engages in a wireless communication using a wireless telecommunications device to do any of the following:

(1) Report a traffic accident, medical emergency, or serious road hazard;

(2) Report a situation in which the person believes his or her personal safety is in jeopardy;

(3) Report or avert the perpetration or potential perpetration of a criminal act against the driver or another person; or

(4) Engage in a wireless communication while the motor vehicle is lawfully parked.

(d) (1) Any conviction for a violation of the provisions of this Code section shall be punishable by a fine of $150.00. The provisions of Chapter 11 of Title 17 and any other provision of law to the contrary notwithstanding, the costs of such prosecution shall not be taxed nor shall any additional penalty, fee, or surcharge to a fine for such offense be assessed against a person for conviction thereof. The court imposing such fine shall forward a record of the disposition of the case of unlawfully operating a motor vehicle while using a wireless telecommunications device to the Department of Driver Services.

(2) If the operator of the moving motor vehicle is involved in an accident at the time of a violation of this Code section, then the fine shall be equal to double the amount of the fine imposed in paragraph (1) of this subsection. The law enforcement officer investigating the accident shall indicate on the written accident form whether such operator was engaging in a wireless communication at the time of the accident.

(e) Each violation of this Code section shall constitute a separate offense.

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