Photo via U.S. Air Force.

Photo via U.S. Air Force.

Georgia's Gov. Nathan Deal of Georgia has signed a hands-free bill into law, rendering the most significant change in the state's driving rules since texting while driving was banned in 2010.

House Bill 673, which prohibits drivers from handling their cell phones and other electronic devices while operating a motor vehicle, goes into effect on July 1, reports the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Deal signed the bill into law on May 2.

Specifically, the new law prohibits drivers from holding or supporting — with any body part — a wireless telecommunications device or independent electronic device such as an iPod. Drivers are also banned from writing, sending or reading any text-based communications while holding a device. Finally, the law prohibits individuals from recording or watching a video while driving, reports the Journal-Constitution.

Drivers are still allowed to talk on their mobile phones or text, but they must use hands-free technology.

The legislation is the result of a marked increase in collision fatalities across the state. More than 1,500 people lost their lives on Georgia roadways in 2017. That tally is approximately one-third more than in 2014.

Related: Georgia Moves Closer to Hands-Free Driving Law

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