House to teenagers: Hang up and drive

The House just voted overwhelmingly to ban teenagers from using wireless devices while driving.

By a vote of 138-34, the House approved HB 23, which makes it illegal for minor motorists to talk or text on cell phones, PDAs or other devices while driving. That ban would also include “hands-free” devices like Bluetooth microphones.

The bill generated some of the most intense debate of the day.

Rep. Ed Lindsey (R-Atlanta), said with three teenage children, he likes the idea that they will not be on the phone while driving in Atlanta traffic.

But Rep. Steve Davis (R-McDonough) said the state can’t replace parents.

“I care deeply about the safety of my children,” said Davis, whose kids are 20, 14 and 12. “The state of Georgia cannot be the parent of my child. I am the parent of my child,” he said. “This bill isn’t going to stop teenage drivers from being stupid.”

But Rep. Tom Rice (R-Norcross), the chairman of the Motor Vehicles Committee, said he has for years fought off efforts to restrict cell phone use.

That was because, he said, an industry study had found cell phone use to be down the list of dangerous driver distractions. That has changed in the past year, he said.

“They’ve since run to number one,” he said. 

6 comments Add your comment


March 12th, 2009
6:37 pm

As a libertarian I usually detest government intervention into most things, but I support this 100%! I actually wish it applied to everyone. I am so sick and tired of having a “close call” only to notice the other driver preoccupied with talking or texting. I can only assume that most of these conversations are leisurely and unimportant.


March 12th, 2009
8:57 pm

I usually agree that government can’t replace parents. But, today’s parents are so irresponsible by giving their 16 year kids cars without proper training and restrictions. The parents give their kids car just to keep them out of their hair. They also want to keep with the Jones’. I think it’s ridiculous that high schools must have parking lots for these spoiled brags. They should all be on the school buses.

Steve S

March 13th, 2009
8:17 am

I”m sorry they limited it to JUST teens, like KBH I’ve had too many close calls because of people driving and talking, my wife and I both use hands free devices and I don’t care what the “official” reports say, I know from experience they’re safer to use while driving.

[...] House to teenagers: Hang up and drive. [...]

NotSoChatty Kathy

March 16th, 2009
9:27 am

I just saw Rep. Ed Lindsey cut off three people while on his phone.
Second to the new car / birthday tax, this is the most ridiculous piece of horrible legislation. What good is it to keep teens off their phones, when soccer moms are mowing down bikers while chatting about god knows what. Everyone needs to get off their phones while behind the wheel.


March 26th, 2009
11:46 am

While i am only thirteen years old i agree!