Yeah, that one that passed and signed into law back in 2010. Well, surprise, surprise, it’s not being enforced all that much.
Many law enforcement officers say the law is difficult to enforce. State troopers have only issued an average of 11 citations a month since the law took effect.
Lt. Les Wilburn, assistant troop commander for the Georgia State Patrol, said troopers have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that someone was texting at the wheel, and not merely dialing a number or talking. Most drivers simply stash their phone when a cop is in sight, he said.
“We’re having the same obstacles we’ve had since the law came into effect,” Wilburn said. “They’re looking for us now, because they know it’s against the law, and they don’t do it while we’re in a car sitting right next to them.”
The penalty is also paltry enough that many drivers dismiss the risk. A violation results in a $150 fine and one point on a person’s driving record.
Enforcement of the texting law has been minimal in most counties, state records show. A notable exception is in Gwinnett County, where 665 thumb-happy drivers were convicted — more than in all other Georgia counties combined.
By comparison, Cobb County has convicted 64 drivers, Fulton 43, Clayton 20 and DeKalb 16.
I remember discussion of this law when it was being debated. I heard that Georgia already has a distracted driving, so the necessity of the law is pretty much moot anyway. Well, at least that was the argument against the law. I know we, well, Erick, discussed the impracticality of the law. He’s right, you can do a lot more than “texting” on a phone. I’m sure there are a few folks out there that watch Netflix right on their smartphone while sitting in traffic. Not to mention that you can check emails, send pictures of the 20+ mile bumper-to-bumper traffic to your friend saying “look what you did by not passing T-SPLOST”, or using the GPS app on your phone to find an alternate route. Charlie also talked about the law too and how usually these (and other traffic laws) go unenforced anyway because they’re impractical, but they do have that “we’re passing this legislation because it is ‘For The Children(TM)'” ring to it.
Perhaps our dear legislative body may need to put more thought into how the law would be implemented and enforced. Just a thought.
H/T to Baker over at That’s Just Peachy for posting the link to the AJC story.