A driver cannot concentrate on the road if he or she is using a phone, computer or navigation system while driving. Distracted driving, according to authorities, has become one of the main causes of motor vehicle accidents. Although laws have been enacted to stop people from texting while driving in Georgia, the practice still continues.
According to the law, a person who causes an accident due to distracted driving is penalized with a fine of $300. This law was enacted in July 2010 and it applies to texting, sending or receiving emails and internet surfing. People below the age of 18 are also prohibited from speaking on the phone while driving.
The law is difficult to enforce, as it is usually not clear to the police if a driver is texting. As the law allows people above the age of 18 to talk on the phone while driving, many distracted drivers claim they were dialing a number and not texting.
According to the police, an officer has to be parallel to the distracted driver to be able to see that they are texting. When an accident takes place, the authorities may look at the phone or its records to determine if it was being used. A police officer did an informal survey and observed that cellphone distraction is one of the main reasons for distracted driving. He also noticed that people between the ages of 16 and 24 are the largest group for cellphone distracted driving.
Many Georgia residents agree that the law has not stopped the problem and that people have continued to drive while distracted. A police officer recently responded to an accident where the driver was killed in an accident because the driver was distracted by the phone's continuous ringing and wanted to turn it off.
Many educational programs have been started in Georgia to educate people about the dangers of distracted driving. A driver can be held liable for negligence if it can be proved that the motorist was distracted while driving.
Source: The Daily Citizen, "Texting while driving laws hard to enforce," Rachel Brown, Aug. 13, 2012.
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