For Immediate Release
Georgia’s New Texting While Driving Law
(Paulding County, GA) On Friday, June 4, 2010, Governor Sonny Perdue signed House Bill 23 and Senate Bill 360 making it illegal for all drivers to “write, send, or read any text based communication, including but not limited to a text message, instant message, email, or Internet data.” These bills also make it illegal for drivers under 18 to use a cell phone for any communication while driving. These bills take effect on July 1, 2010.
There are several distractions that keep motorists from focusing on the roadways. In fact, new national data is showing driver inattention is a key cause in most crashes and near-crashes according to the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety. The primary job for motorists behind the wheel is paying attention to the roadway. Studies have shown that teen drivers are the most easily distracted drivers and least experienced drivers. “We are encouraging parents to discourage these inexperienced drivers from texting or talking on cell phones while operating a vehicle,” said Paulding County Sheriff Gary Gulledge. “Drivers that are found guilty of committing this violation could face a $150.00 fine and one point added to their driver’s license.”
The Governor’s Office of Highway Safety also points out that the distractions don’t end when Georgia motorists finally hang up the phone and drive. Several other activities have been found to be just as distracting or even more capable of increasing crash occurrences and here’s how they rank:
• Reaching for a moving object increases crash risk by 9 times;
• Looking at an object outside the vehicle increases crash risk by 3.7 times;
• Reading increases crash risk by 3 times;
• Grooming or applying makeup increases crash risk by 3 times;
• Using a hand-held device like a GPS increases crash risk by 3 times;
• Talking/listening to a hand-held cell phone increases crash risk by 1.3 times; and
• Drowsiness, a tired driver behind the wheel, increases crash risk by 4 times.
We encourage everyone to visit our website at www.paulding.gov/sheriff to find links to these new laws.