You Didn’t Know Texting While Driving Was Illegal? Georgia Laws Are Rarely Enforced

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Texting while driving is dangerous. But did you also know it is illegal in Georgia? The laws further restrict teenage and bus drivers.

Specifically, Georgia laws ban:

  • Handheld and hands-free cellphone use by novice drivers
  • Handheld and hands-free cellphone use by bus drivers
  • Texting by all drivers

Drivers face traffic tickets and fines of $150 for noncompliance.

These laws are important to protect the safety of everyone on the roadway. According the Distraction.gov — the federal government’s official distracted driving prevention website — 3,331 people were killed and 387,000 people were injured in automobile crashes involving a distracted driver in 2011.

Yet, Georgia law enforcement officers cited fewer than 50 motorists per month for violation of the texting laws, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. This equals 1,281 total convictions since the statute took effect on July 1, 2010. This number is extraordinarily low, considering the Distraction.gov’s estimates that approximately 660,000 drivers in the United States are using cellphones or other electronic devices while operating their motor vehicles during any given daylight moment.

A bill outlawing use of handheld devices by all drivers in Georgia has been introduced to the Georgia General Assembly for the 2013-2014 legislative session. The intent of the law is a good one — to prevent serious roadway accidents. However, these regulations only work if law enforcement enforces them.

A motorist who texts, emails, talks on a mobile phone or engages in any other distraction while driving is behaving negligently.