Georgia joins 27 other states in passing laws banning drivers from sending text messages while driving. The governor signed House Bill 23 which prohibits young people under age 18 from texting or using cell phones while driving.
He also signed Senate Bill 360 which prohibits drivers over 18 from texting. These bills become effective July 1, 2010. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that nearly 6,000 people died in 2008 from crashes involving a distracted or inattentive driver, and more than half a million were injured. Research also shows that the worst offenders are the youngest and least experienced drivers: men and women under 20 years of age.
“These laws are a positive step forward in the effort to make our roadways safer,” said Micaela Isler southeast regional manager for PCI. “House Bill 23 aims to assist our least experienced drivers in Georgia to be as safe as possible by banning cell phone use. The use of cell phones while behind the wheel is a significant source of distraction, but it represents one of many distractions that can lead to a crash.
By passing Senate Bill 360 Georgia is sending a strong message that all drivers have a responsibility to exercise good judgment in all of their driving activities. Although news media has focused attention on cell phone use and texting; navigation systems, eating and drinking as well as personal grooming can all serve as distractions that compromise road safety.”
Georgia joins Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Nebraska, Vermont, Wisconsin and Wyoming as the states to pass laws that ban all drivers from sending text messages this year.
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, The use of all cell phones by novice drivers is restricted in 27 states and the District of Columbia.
Text messaging is banned for all drivers in 28 states and the District of Columbia. In addition, novice drivers are banned from texting in 8 states (Alabama, Delaware, Indiana, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, Texas, and West Virginia).
“Driving safely is a matter of personal responsibility,” said Isler. “PCI supports initiatives that increase awareness about the hazards of distracted driving and identifies steps that motorists can take to prevent distractions from affecting their driving performance. We appreciate the legislators in the House and Senate for passing HB 23 and SB 360 this passed session and commend Governor Perdue for signing these important bills into law.”