Georgia texting bills facing deadline
The state of Georgia is looking to ban texting while driving, but with around six similar bills on the table right now, it looks like none of them will be approved before the end of the legislative session.
House Bill 944, sponsored by Rep. Amos Amerson, would prohibit all drivers from texting while driving and inflict a $300 fine to drivers caught in the act. Unfortunately, it appears his bill will not be submitted to the House or Senate.
“When it came before the Public Safety Committee they realized there are about six bills that reference the same Code section, and one would replace the other with the last bill passed taking precedence, so what the committee is trying to do is come up with a way to combine the bills in such a way that they think it would pass both houses. That’s not likely to happen this session.”
Another bill may have more chances of going through. Sen. Jack Murphy’s anti-texting bill would impose a fine of $150 to drivers caught texting while driving. Additionally, drivers under the age of 18 with a learner’s permit or a restricted license who happen to be caught texting while driving would not be eligible for a regular license for a period of 12 months. It is scheduled to go to the Senate for a vote, but time is also running for this proposition.
“Unless this bill passes the entire Senate by the 25th, it will be dead for the year”, says David Belton, a member of the Morgan County Board of Education supporting Sen. Murphy’s measure.
If approved by the Senate and the House, the new law would take effect on July 1st.
Source: The Dahlonega Nugget, March 17, 2010; WCTV, March 19, 2010