Grace period ends in Georgia
Since Georgia’s texting while driving ban became effective on July 1, motorists were under a 30 day grace period where only warnings were issued. Starting August 1, the Georgia State Patrol will begin issuing citations for drivers caught violating one of the new texting laws
Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue signed two laws regarding texting while driving last month. One of them prohibits adult drivers from exchanging text messages while on the road. The other one bans drivers under the age of 18 from using a cell phone in their car, even with a hands-free device. In both cases, a violation means a fine of $150 and one point to a driver’s license.
According to the Georgia State Patrol spokesperson, Gordy Wright, most drivers try to hide their bad habit once they see a law enforcement officer.
“People that may have been texting while driving might see a law enforcement vehicle and immediately put (the device) down,” Wright said. “Troopers around state are reporting that violations are very slow. Generally, it’s difficult to find a violation.”
For Major Mark McDonough, also of the Georgia State Patrol, enforcement will be hard, but not impossible.
“Is it impossible? No. It’s going to require the trooper to do some observation in order to develop the reason why he pulls them over.”
Source: Gwinnet Daily Post, July 31, 2010; 11 Alive, August 1, 2010