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Monday September 24th, 2018 1:27PM

Georgia tightens distracted driving laws

By The Associated Press

Pending the governor's signature, Georgia will soon become the 16th state in the U.S. to enact a hands-free driving law. 

The House gave final passage Thursday night to a proposal that would prevent drivers from holding their cellphones while behind the wheel. 

Proponents say drivers who look at their phones are largely responsible for a recent spike in fatal crashes in Georgia and the resulting rise in auto insurance premiums. 

Under the bill, first-time offenders would be fined $50, with the fees increasing for repeat offenders. 

First-time offenders could avoid the fine by appearing in court with proof that they have purchased a hands-free device. 

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