Third time may be the charm for Georgia distracted driving bill

Despite previous failures, Georgia lawmaker again moves to introduce bill

A Georgia lawmaker has introduced a bill that would ban the use of hand-held devices while making a phone call when driving, according to CBS 46 News. The bill, which has been introduced and failed to pass two times previously, faces an uphill challenge in the legislature. However, advocates of the bill say it is time for Georgia to join a growing number of states that have banned hand-held devices while driving. They say distracted driving is playing a growing role in many car accidents and needs to be treated more seriously by lawmakers.

Distracted driving bill

The bill would make it a misdemeanor to make a phone call when driving while holding a cellphone or other hand-held electronic device. Instead, drivers would have to rely on hands-free devices such as Bluetooth or voice-activated controls on their phones or in their vehicles.

The fine for violating the law would be $150. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, exceptions would be made for emergency personnel, commercial truck operators, and people who are calling 911. Similar legislation has already been passed in 14 other states. Under current law passed in 2010, only texting and driving-rather than the outright use of a hand-held device-is banned on Georgia's roads and highways.

Passing bill a challenge

Getting the bill passed will prove challenging, however, especially given that this is the third time such a bill has been put forward. The last time the bill was proposed, in 2011, it failed to pass and died without stirring much interest. The current political makeup also could work against this particular bill's prospects. Critics of the bill also say that it is a case of government overreach and is largely unnecessary given current distracted driving laws.

However, proponents of the bill point out that distracted driving is accounting for a growing share of overall traffic accidents in the United States. The problem appears particularly acute when it comes to young and inexperienced drivers, who are more likely to use a cellphone while driving. By banning hand-held devices outright, proponents say the law will help ensure drivers keep their eyes on the road. They also say that experiences in other states show that drivers quickly adapt to the new laws even if there is a bit of initial grumbling.

Auto accidents

Distractions play an increasing role in many motor vehicle accidents. When somebody is behind the wheel of a car, it is their duty to keep their eyes on the road. Unfortunately, not all drivers are as attentive as they should be and the consequences for other motorists are often dire.

When injured in a car crash, victims should get in touch with a personal injury attorney. Time is often of the essence in such cases and talking to an attorney sooner can maximize the chances of receiving the full compensation victims may need when recovering from their injuries.