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Ten Georgia Driving Laws You Probably Haven’t Heard OfJake
Like any other state in the United States, Georgia has several obscure traffic laws that you may not be aware of. If you live in Georgia or are planning on travelling there by car, knowing the state’s unique driving laws may come in handy. We’ve put together a list of Georgia’s ten strangest driving laws and regulations.
1. The “Slowpoke Law”
In 2014, Georgia passed the so-called “Slowpoke Law.” Under this rule, if you’re driving in the left lane of traffic and a car is coming up quickly behind you, you are legally obligated to move to the middle or right lane. Even if you’re going the speed limit and the car behind you is speeding, you are still required to allow them to pass your vehicle. Failure to do so can potentially cost you three points on your license, up to $1,000 in fines, and an increase in your insurance premiums.
2. Georgia’s “Move Over Law”
When an emergency vehicle with flashing lights is parked on the shoulder of a highway, drivers are required to move over one lane of traffic when possible. If traffic or unsafe road conditions prevent a driver from moving over a lane, the law requires drivers to drive below the posted speed limit and be ready to stop their vehicle. Failure to do so may lead to a $500 fine.
3. It’s Illegal to Drive with Headphones in Both Ears
Georgia’s hands-free driving law prohibits drivers from using their cell phones while driving. It also states that a driver may not have both headphones or earbuds in at a time. This rule is meant to eliminate distractions, so that drivers are able to simultaneously focus on the road and the sound coming through their headphones. Failure to follow this rule may lead to fines and points on the driver’s license.
4. Bikes are Considered Vehicles
In the state of Georgia, a bicycle is seen as a “vehicle.” This means that cyclists are legally required to follow the same rules of the road as motorists; for example, they are required to stop at red lights or stop signs. This classification also affords bicyclists the same rights and legal protections as the driver of a car.
5. Drivers Under 18 May Use Hands-Free Technology
2010 statutes made distinctions between drivers younger and older than the age of eighteen. Under the 2010 statutes, drivers under the age of eighteen could not use cellphones for any purpose, even to accept a phone call using hands-free technology. Under the most recent distracted driving laws passed in 2018, licensed drivers of all ages may take advantage of safe, approved hands-free technologies. Proponents of the 2018 distracted driving statutes argued that the law makes it easier to spot distracted drivers, since anyone with a phone in their hands is now in violation of the laws regardless of age.
6. It’s Illegal to Have Your Phone Touching Any Part of Your Body While Driving
Like most states, Georgia forbids drivers from having a phone in their hand while driving. However, House Bill 673 goes a step further and states that the driver may not “use any part of their body to support their phone.” Even if the car is stopped at an intersection, the driver may not use their phone.
7. You May Legally Drive Without Shoes
Contrary to popular belief, it is perfectly legal to drive without wearing shoes in Georgia. In fact, no states currently have legislation forbidding drivers from operating a car without shoes. Some states do discourage barefoot driving, warn that it could be more unsafe than driving with appropriate footwear, or state that drivers could be charged with reckless driving if driving barefoot causes a crash. For safety, driving with comfortable shoes is ideal.
8. No Spitting Out of a Car or Bus in Marietta, Georgia
In the city of Marietta, it is illegal to spit from a car or bus. Strangely, this law does not apply to drivers or passengers in a truck. Regardless, it’s in your best interests to avoid spitting from any vehicle in this specific city, as doing so may get you in trouble with the local authorities.
9. Georgia State Assembly Members May Not Receive Speeding Tickets
While the Georgia State Assembly is in session, members of the Assembly may not receive speeding tickets. Of course, this should not be seen as encouragement to break traffic laws, drive recklessly, or endanger the well-being of other motorists.
10. You May Not Honk Your Car Horn at a Fair
There is very little background information regarding why this law was passed, but it is illegal to honk your vehicle’s horn during a fair in the state of Georgia. We recommend exercising due caution if you find yourself at a fairground, so that you can avoid performers, pedestrians, and animals.
Drive Carefully in Georgia
We hope that this list of laws has helped you prepare for your next drive through the state of Georgia. Remember to steer clear of the local fairs and keep your cellphone out of reach!