In 2018, lawmakers in Georgia passed a law that banned hands-on cellphone use while driving. Now that a little over a year has passed since it came into effect, people want to know if it has made a difference. The short answer is yes.
According to a report released this summer, law enforcement officers have issued more traffic citations for distracted driving over the last year than they did the previous year. The number of fatal accidents occurring in the state have dropped. Finally, the number of auto insurance claims filed by Georgia residents has decreased. So, yes, the law does seem to have had an impact.
What the law says and why lawmakers thought it necessary
The distracted driving law simply says that drivers cannot handle cellphones when behind the wheel of an automobile. Lawmakers felt this law was necessary due to the drastic increase in fatal accidents seen in the state over the past few years. According to the available statistics on the matter, from 2014 to 2016, traffic fatalities here increased by a third.
How the law has helped
As previously stated, fewer car accidents have happened in the past year. On top of that, police handed out over 20,000 citations for distracted driving in the same time frame. This is a good thing and a sign that people are taking the law seriously. Experts do say that we will not see or know the full effect of the law for several years, however.
The consequences for breaking the law
If caught holding a cellphone while driving, you will see points added to your license, you’ll have to pay a fine, and you may lose your license for a time. The current consequences are as follows:
- First offense: $50 fine and one point
- Second offense: $100 fine and two points
- Third offense: $150 fine and three points
If you receive 15 points on your license over the course of two years, this is grounds for a suspension.
Suffer injuries or lose a loved one to a distracted driver?
Despite the progress toward ending distracted driving in the state of Colorado, it is still an issue, and people are still experiencing significant losses because of it. If you happen to have suffered injuries in a distracted driving-related accident, or if you lost a loved one in such an event, compensation may be available to you.