According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, distracted driving accounted for 3,477 deaths in 2015 alone. Another further 391,000 people were injured. The agency also claims that during daylight hours, 660,000 people are on their cell phones while driving. When it comes to fatal crashes, teens were the largest group who were reported as being distracted at the time of the accident. Fourteen states and the District of Columbia have laws on the books banning the use of electronic devices while driving. 41 NBC reports that Georgia has just become the 15th state to pass laws banning the use of electronic devices while driving.
Georgia was one of 46 states and the District of Columbia that had laws making texting while driving illegal. Now, Georgia has become the 15th state to take that law further by completely banning the use of electronic devices while driving.
Last Thursday, state lawmakers passed House Bill 673, making it illegal for anyone driving to be holding an electronic device that may distract them from concentrating on the road.
The law encompasses texting and talking on the phone as well as using GPS, which have become a major cause of accidents according to one insurance adjuster.
Lt. Scott Davis in the Bibb County Sheriff’s Department’s Traffic Enforcement Division believes that the newly passed law will lead to law enforcement agencies engaging in more traffic stops.
Before, law enforcement officers had to first witness a traffic violation and then determine if a handheld electronic device and distracted driving was responsible. Now, the new law makes merely having a cell phone or other device in a person’s hands while driving an offense that officers can make a traffic stop over.
The bill is currently awaiting the signature of Governor Nathan Deal into law.
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