Proposed bill would expand distracted driving laws to include talking on phone
A state legislator has proposed expanding Georgia’s distracted driving laws to ban talking on a cellphone while driving. While the state currently prohibits texting and driving, efforts to ban cellphone use when behind the wheel have previously struggled to become law. While safety advocates say the proposed bill is a step in the right direction, they point out that exceptions in the bill would mean that car accidents caused by distracted driving would still be a risk.
Talking on cellphone
The legislative proposal, House Bill 10, would make it a misdemeanor to talk on a cellphone or other handheld device when driving. Drivers would face a $150 fine if caught talking while driving. If passed, Georgia would become the 15 th state to ban the use of handheld devices when behind the wheel.
However, there is no guarantee that the bill will pass. A similar bill was proposed in 2011, but failed to become law. According to analysts, the current political situation means that the latest proposal will have a difficult, but by no means impossible, time succeeding.
Exceptions for hands-free devices
If the bill does become law, however, it would not ban all cellphone-use while driving. The bill makes exceptions for reporting an accident or crime, as well as for first responders and commercial truck drivers. The bill would also allow drivers to use hands-free devices, like headphones and speakers, in order to make a call.
While such hands-free devices are often promoted as a safer way of driving, safety advocates say they can still be distracting for drivers. According to WALB News, some safety advocates see the bill as an improvement over current distracted driving laws, but warn that hands-free technology is far from perfect and may divert drivers’ attention from the road. They say that the safest option for drivers is to pullover in order to make a call rather than ever trying to multitask while behind the wheel.
Distracted driving, as most people know by now, is a constant danger on Georgia’s roads and highways. Talking or texting on a cellphone while driving recklessly places other motorists and pedestrians at risk of an accident, which can result in serious injury and, all too often, loss of life.
For those who have been the victims of an allegedly distracted driver, help is available. Such victims should reach out to a personal injury attorney today to discuss their situation. An experienced attorney can help people involved in an accident understand what legal options may be available to them, including, in some cases, the possibility of seeking additional compensation for the pain and suffering caused by a negligent driver.