Have you ever seen another driver, who is clearly talking on the phone, cut you off or swerve or even cause an accident, obviously distracted by that phone?
Maybe you’ve done that yourself.
Some Georgia lawmakers are trying again this year to ban drivers from using hand-held phones.
“You would not be allowed to hold your cell phone and drive,” said Rep. Rahn Mayo, (D) Decatur, who is the chief sponsor of the legislation.
Rep. Mayo said that while his proposed law is aimed at stopping people from using hand-held cell phones while they’re driving in Georgia, it would allow drivers to use hands-free phone devices.
“It’s going to save lives,” Mayo said.
Rep. Mayo has tried for the past two years to gather enough votes in the House to move the bill over to the Senate. He’s hoping his latest version of the bill, which he just introduced, will make it through the legislature and onto the Governor’s desk this year.
A lot of drivers are skeptical about the need for it, including Jeff Keesee of Atlanta.
“I think it’s a bit of overkill,” Keesee said. “I don’t know how it would be enforced. There are a lot of things that people do to be distracted in their car. Eating, doing makeup, all kinds of things. So why pick this one, little activity?”
Cell phone use by drivers is already restricted under current Georgia laws which went into effect in July, 2010, and police are becoming more proficient at enforcing them.
One law bans all cell phone use by drivers who are 17 years old, and younger. They are not allowed to use cell phones at all, for talking or texting.
Statistics were not readily available Friday night about the numbers of tickets police across Georgia have issued to teen drivers under that law since July, 2010.
But according to the Georgia Department of Driver Services, as of January 24, 2013, 60 of the ticketed teen drivers have been “convicted” in Georgia of using cell phones. That means they either did not contest the tickets, or they were found guilty, and the records of those 60 convictions were sent to DDS to be placed on the teens’ driving records.
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