Inexperience, bad weather, and driving while intoxicated are all factors that can contribute to motor vehicle accidents. However, there is a growing – and disturbing – reality that is contributing to an increase in the number of accidents. That reality is distracted driving, which many lawmakers blame for a sharp uptick in the number of motor vehicle accidents. 11 Alive reports on efforts to curb this increase by introducing legislation that would make Georgia a “hands-free” driving state.
Between 2008 and 2012, there was a downward trend in the number of fatal motor vehicle accidents. However, between 2014 and 2015, that trend reversed. In 2014, there were 1170 fatalities. In 2015, that number increased to 1432 fatalities. That trend continued into 2016, with 1561 fatalities. 2017 showed little improvement, with that number dropping to 1531 fatalities.
In the first 10 days of 2018, 14 people have already been killed in car accidents on Georgia roadways.
This alarming increase in fatal traffic accidents has lawmakers concerned, and they are looking at one factor as the possible culprit: distracted driving.
Rep. John Carson (R.-Marietta) has put forth House Bill 673 that would create a hands-free driving law for the state.
The proposed law states that drivers would be able to swipe their phones once to begin a call and once to end it. Using a cellphone for GPS would be allowed, but only on a hands-free basis.
The new law would increase fines for distracted driving from $150 to $300 to $450 for the first citation. A second citation would increase the fine to between $400 to $650. Three infractions would push the fine to between $650 to $900. The fines would be at the judge’s discretion.
Additionally, a distracted driving citation would now result in 3 points on a person’s license for the first offense, up from one point. Each additional citation would be four points. Distracted driving accidents that end up with the death or serious injury of another person would mirror Georgia’s drunk driving laws.
Have you been injured in an accident? You may have a case. Let the experienced attorneys at the law offices of John Foy & Associates fight to get you the compensation you deserve. Call today for a consultation.