On July 1, 2010 Georgia’s new texting while driving ban became law.With the words “No person shall operate a motor vehicle while using a wireless device to write, send, read any text based communication” we will hopefully see a reduction in the number of Georgia car accidents. addition to banning all drivers from texting while driving, the law bans teens under 18 from even talking on a cell phone while driving. Named for a Georgia teenager who died while texting and driving, the new law calls for a $150 fine and one point added to the offender’s driver’s license.
The head if the US DOT already banned texting and driving for bus and tractor trailer operators in January. The U.S. DOT estimates that in 2008 alone 500,000 drivers were injured in car accidents caused by distracted driving and another 6,000 died. Enforcement will present its own unique headache as Georgia joins 19 other states with a texting ban but some states like New Jersey have successfully prosecuted drivers. New Jersey told NPR that its officers are writing 10,000 tickets a month. Talk about a revenue stream!
There is no doubt that cell phones and texting while driving are major distractions to the average driver and even though the ban won’t completely fix the problem, it is a step in the right direction. As a practicing Georgia car accident lawyer I know that more than 30% of the crashes I review involve cell phone use of some type. For a client of mine struck in the rear by a teenager on a cell phone on June 30th, the law did not come quickly enough.