On the last day of the legislative session Georgia became the 16th state to pass a law prohibiting people to drive while holding a cell phone. Under the new law, holding your phone while driving will be strictly prohibited .
Director of the Governor's Office of Highway Safety Harris Blackwood told AccessWDUN the law is needed to make Georgia roads safer. He said insurance rates in Georgia and the number of people injured and killed in cell phone-related collisions have skyrocketed.
"There are so many crashes that are symptomatic of texting and driving - rear-end collisions, departure of the roadway on the right, crossing the centerline, striking an object," Blackwood said. "We have lost a lot of people in the last three or four years to these kinds of crashes."
Blackwood said the rules as outlined in the new measure are easy to understand.
"It will be illegal to have a cell phone in your hand," Blackwood said. "You cannot support it with your chin, you cannot put it in your elbow, it cannot be supported by your body. You can have it on the seat, on the dash or you can support it in a cradle."
Blackwood added drivers can use the phone to dial and end a call, as well as use the GPS feature, but texting and use of social media is strictly prohibited.
The law will take effect when signed by Governor Nathan Deal.