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States considers ban on handheld phone use for drivers

Many decades ago, residents in Georgia began hearing a lot about the dangers of drunk driving thanks to the public advocacy group Mothers Against Drunk Driving and others like it that have since been formed. Today, society faces yet another serious risk on the roads that has yet to receive the level of scrutiny that drunk driving has. That risk is distracted driving. Sadly it appears that it requires more people to keep dying before something is done about this growing threat.

The Georgia Department of Transportation released traffic fatality numbers that show significant increases between 2014 and 2015 and also between 2015 and 2016. In that two-year span of time, the state saw the number of vehicular deaths rise from 1,170 in 2014 to 1,561 in 2016. How many of those deaths may be linked to the use of cell phones, GPS devices or other electronic devices is not known yet that is not stopping lawmakers from pushing to pass a new distracted driving bill.

If approved, drivers would be allowed to touch their phones twice for any phone call - once to initate the call and once to end the call. Any use for navigational purposes must be completely hands-free. Financial penalties and points on driver's licenses would increase over the current levels and rise with each subsequent offense. In the case of injury or fatal accidents, penalties akin to those for drunk driving may be levied.

Georgia residents who are involved in accidents caused by people who refuse to put down their phones while driving may want to learn how to seek compensation by talking with a lawyer.

Source: 11alive.com, "Proposed law would make Georgia a hands-free driving state," Adrianne Haney, January 10, 2018

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