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Thursday, 10 June 2010 17:11

Texting & Under-18-Cell-Use While Driving Illegal in Georgia

Georgia SB 360, also known as Caleb’s Law, named after a teen who died in a December car crash while texting and driving, has been signed by Governor Sonny Perdue. The law forbids texting while driving in the state of Georgia. The state now joins 27 others that have enacted similar bans. The Georgia law applies not just to writing a text message while driving, but also to the sending of it or the reading of “any text-based communication” on a “wireless telecommunications device.” Wireless telecommunications device means a cellular telephone, a text-messaging device, a personal digital assistant, or a stand alone computer. Starting July 1, drivers who are caught reading, writing or sending any kind of text message, including emails, could face a $150 fine and a point on their driver’s license.

No under-18 Calls While Driving

The Governor also signed a separate law, House Bill 23, that forbids anyone under 18 from using a cell phone while driving. Young drivers caught using a cell phone while behind the wheel may be fined $150, and if they become involved in an accident while on the phone, the fine doubles to $300.

The bill provides the following revised penalties for violations:
● Aggressive driving 6 points
● Reckless driving 4 points
● Unlawful passing of a school bus 6 points
● Improper passing on a hill or a curve 4 points
● Exceeding the speed limit by more than 14 miles per hour but less than 19 miles per hour 2 points
● Exceeding the speed limit by 19 miles per hour or more but less than 24 miles per hour 3 points
● Exceeding the speed limit by 24 miles per hour or more but less than 34 miles per hour 4 points
● Exceeding the speed limit by 34 miles per hour or more 6 points
● Disobedience of any traffic-control device or traffic officer 3 points
● Too fast for conditions 0 points
● Possessing an open container of an alcoholic beverage while driving 2 points
● Failure to adequately secure a load, except fresh farm produce, resulting in loss of such load onto the roadway which results in an accident 2 points
● Violation of child safety restraint requirements, first offense 1 point
● Violation of child safety restraint requirements, second or subsequent offense 2 points
● Violation of usage of wireless telecommunications device requirements 1 point
All other moving traffic violations which are not speed limit

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