Lawmakers want hands-free devices required in vehicles - FOX 13 News

Lawmakers want hands-free devices required in vehicles

Posted: Updated:
ATLANTA -

Research shows cell phones were reported in 18 percent of distraction related traffic deaths in the United States. Two Georgia bills are floating around the Georgia House and Senate that would require you to use a hands-free device when driving and talking on the phone.

Georgia could join 16 other states that have, in some part, banned hand held cell phone use while driving. If they do, it may cost you if you don't already have a hands free device.

Atlanta driver Jim Bunch never gets in his car without his Bluetooth.

"I find it very unsafe to be driving down the highway and not using one," said Bunch.

According to Distraction.gov, drivers who use hand-held devices are four times more likely to get into crashes serious enough to injure themselves.

"I would recommend a Bluetooth 100 percent of the time, just to put away all the nonsense as far as driving goes," said Marcquon Weems of Best Buy mobile sales.

Several Georgia lawmakers are working to make hands-free devices the law. If passed, both House Bill 31 and Senate Bill 110 would make it illegal not to have a hands free device in the car.

Experts say if you just need something basic, you want to look for comfort and call clarity. Those can run as low as $30.

"You don't have to have all the features for the Bluetooth on there. Some people just use it for basic use," said Weems.

But you can get a device with more advanced features.

"They're usually looking for a Bluetooth that can do music, can do email and text messaging as well too, because text messaging is important," Weems said.

The fancy features will cost you. They range anywhere from $80 to $170.

"The better ones are usually the higher end ones, the ones that can do the most." Weems said.

If you don't like the earpieces, there are also devices that clip onto your visor. Some are built into the vehicle.

"Say, if you have a navigation app on your phone, it's going to read those navigation directions to you while you're driving," said Weems.

Bunch says law or not, hands-free is the way to go.

"There's no reason for you not to use it, and it's so just so much safer," Bunch said.

A similar house bill failed last year. Lawmakers have not moved beyond the 2010 ban on texting while driving. Police say enforcing the texting ban has been difficult. Bill sponsors say it would be easier to enforce the hands-free law because drivers seen holding a phone could be cited.

  • Good Day ArchiveMore>>

  • Back to School Jamboree with Hosea Feed The Hungry

    Back to School Jamboree with Hosea Feed The Hungry

    Hosea Feed the Hungry will host their annual Back to School Jamboree on Sunday, July 13, 2014 from 10:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. at Turner Field. Children will receive a backpack filled with school supplies.

    Hosea Feed the Hungry will host their annual Back to School Jamboree on Sunday, July 13, 2014 from 10:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. at Turner Field. Children will receive a backpack filled with school supplies.

  • Good Day Atlanta Extra

    Paula Deen: 'I'm happier, more solid, I'm smarter'

    Paula Deen: 'I'm happier, more solid, I'm smarter'

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 11:14 AM EDT2014-08-20 15:14:12 GMT
    Celebrity chef Paula Deen says she is 'happier and smarter' after a controversial year in the spotlight. Deen joined Good Day's Paul Milliken to candidly discuss the lessons she's learned, and her hopes for the future.
    Celebrity chef Paula Deen says she is 'happier and smarter' after a controversial year in the spotlight. Deen joined Good Day's Paul Milliken to candidly discuss the lessons she's learned, and her hopes for the future.
  • Virginia-Highland restaurant gets facelift, pays it forward

    Virginia-Highland restaurant gets facelift, pays it forward

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 9:12 AM EDT2014-08-20 13:12:15 GMT
     It's been a traditional watering hole for a quarter of a century.  And now, Highland Tap is celebrating a new look by helping out a neighbor.  
    It's been a traditional watering hole for a quarter of a century. And now, Highland Tap is celebrating a new look by helping out a neighbor. Highland Tap is a popular restaurant/bar in Atlanta's historic Virignia-Highland neighborhood. The restaurant closed down
  • Katie Beasley's storiesMore>>

  • SKYFOX Traffic

    Small windshield crack could cause big problems

    Small windshield crack could cause big problems

    Thursday, August 14 2014 9:18 AM EDT2014-08-14 13:18:04 GMT
    It's one of the most important safety features on your vehicle. We're not talking about tires or your steering wheel, we're talking about your windshield.
    It's one of the most important safety features on your vehicle. We're not talking about tires or your steering wheel, we're talking about your windshield.
  • Atlanta Beltline celebrates success

    Atlanta Beltline celebrates success

    Thursday, August 7 2014 8:14 AM EDT2014-08-07 12:14:51 GMT
    It started as an idea 15 years ago, now the Atlanta Beltline is a huge success, users say. This summer an international panel awarded it the grand prize for "Best Rehabilitation Project" across the globe.
    It started as an idea 15 years ago, now the Atlanta Beltline is a huge success, users say. This summer an international panel awarded it the grand prize for "Best Rehabilitation Project" across the globe.
  • Citizens concerned over Fulton County road

    Citizens concerned over Fulton County road

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 10:44 AM EDT2014-07-29 14:44:05 GMT
    A local advocate group says their part of town has been neglected for years by the Georgia Department of Transportation. The group "Citizens for Better Roads in South Fulton County" says finally, improvements are coming to I-285 where they live.
    A local advocate group says their part of town has been neglected for years by the Georgia Department of Transportation. The group "Citizens for Better Roads in South Fulton County" says finally, improvements are coming to I-285 where they live.
Powered by WorldNow

FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
3213 West Kennedy Blvd.
Tampa, Florida 33609
Main: (813) 876-1313
Newsroom: (813) 870-9630
Fax: (813) 871-3135

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices