Georgia issues 36 citations in a year for texting while driving

One year has passed since the state of Georgia banned texting while driving, and while the law stated that warnings would be issued only for the first month, some might say that local authorities are still educating motorists rather than enforcing the law.

Since August 1, 2010, only 36 citations have been issued for texting while driving in Georgia.  According to reports, 24 were handed out by the Woodstock police, 9 from the Canton and 3 by the Holly Springs police.  With more than 5.7 million registered drivers in the state, it seems to be a surprisingly low number.

For Sgt. Jeff Tucker from the Canton Police Department, the texting while driving ban has its flaws. For instance, if a driver is suspected of texting while driving and pulled over, he has the right to refuse to hand out its phone to the police officer.  Moreover, drivers can erase the messages they were exchanging, which means a subpoena would be necessary to check the phone record and issue the $150 citation and one point against a driver’s license.

Sgt. Paul Gentile from the Woodstock Police Department added that it is difficult to catch a driver in the act, unless he follows one swerving, for example. In the end, he summed it up by comparing texting while driving to speeding limits.

“It’s like any other law, people will choose to follow,” he said. 

Source: Cherokee Tribune, July 31, 2011

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