In ‘big win’ for patient safety, Georgia Senate passes ‘hands-free’ bill

The Georgia Senate has unanimously passed a bill (H.B. 673) by Rep. John Carson (R-Marietta) that would make it illegal for drivers to use a cell phone on anything other than a hands-free basis. The Georgia House of Representatives is now expected to “agree” to this bill in its amended form (i.e., the Senate changed the schedule of fines) and then it will head to the Governor’s office to be signed into law by Gov. Nathan Deal.

“This was a big win for patient safety,” says Medical Association of Georgia President Frank McDonald, M.D., M.B.A. “And I am especially proud since this was one of MAG’s priorities for the 2018 legislative session.”

In addition to Rep. Carson and other state lawmakers, Government Relations Director Derek Norton is thanking and applauding physicians for their leadership and grassroots support – including Ali Rahimi, M.D., a cardiologist with Kaiser Permanente of Georgia and the Southeast Permanente Medical Group, and Charles Wilmer, M.D., an interventional cardiologist and the chief of innovation at the Piedmont Heart Institute in Atlanta, in particular.

Norton also credits several key stakeholder groups, including the MAG Foundation, the MAG Alliance, and the Medical Association of Atlanta.

Dr. McDonald is convinced that, “This legislation is going to reduce injuries and save a lot of lives in Georgia.”