Georgia Takes Action on Handheld Cell Phone Use While Driving

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News Releases

May 3, 2018

CONTACT: Madison Forker,
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States Strengthen Traffic Safety Laws in 2018

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Yesterday afternoon, Georgia Governor Nathan Deal signed H.B. 673 into law, making the state the 16th (along with D.C., Puerto Rico, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands) to ban handheld wireless device phone use behind the wheel.

“Despite widespread awareness of the risks, many drivers still engage in distracting behaviors,” said Jonathan Adkins, Executive Director of the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA). “GHSA urges all states to ban handheld cell phone use behind the wheel and all motorists to refrain from all distractions and commit their full attention to driving. Congratulations to the State of Georgia for this notable achievement.”

Georgia is just one of several states improving traffic safety laws during their 2018 legislative sessions. Notably, Idaho and Iowa have also enacted laws requiring ignition interlocks for all convicted drunk drivers, including first-time offenders.

“Legislative initiatives are an essential part of the traffic safety equation,” said Adkins. “Laws and traffic enforcement set social norms for safe practices, curb dangerous driving, and empower police officers to stop risky behavior when they detect it.”

Other 2018 state law enhancements include the following:

  • Impaired Driving: Alabama, Arizona and Delaware adopted improvements to their existing ignition interlock programs. Vermont augmented its law banning open containers of marijuana in vehicles.
  • Occupant Protection: Nebraska and Virginia became 10th and 11th states to require children younger than age two to ride in a rear-facing child safety seat, in line with American Academy of Pediatrics recommendations. Nebraska also now requires child passengers to use a booster seat up to age 8.
  • Distracted Driving: Oregon has adopted new improvements to its distracted driving laws.

For more information on state traffic safety laws, visit

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The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) is a nonprofit association representing the highway safety offices of states, territories, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. GHSA provides leadership and representation for the states and territories to improve traffic safety, influence national policy, enhance program management and promote best practices. Its members are appointed by their Governors to administer federal and state highway safety funds and implement state highway safety plans. Contact GHSA at 202-789-0942 or visit Find us on Facebook at or follow us on Twitter @GHSAHQ.