Ban on texting while driving bill sent back to drawing board

A proposed House bill that would ban people from sending or reading text messages while driving has hit a bump in the road. Stumped by questions about how the new law would be enforced and how would a police officer determine if someone was sending a text message as opposed to say, making a phone call, forced the House of Representative’s public safety committee to send the bill to a study committee.

“It’s a valid question,” said Rep. Allen Peake (R-Bibb County), the author of one of two bills that would ban texting. “This is the way it should be done. I look forward to perfecting the bill.

Peake, along with Rep. Amos Amerson (R-Dahlonega), both testified Wednesday about their similar bills that would ban texting, while imposing healthy fines and points on an offender’s driver’s license. But committee chairman Burke Day said, based on the number of questions, that it would best to further study both bills and refine them into one.

Two weeks ago, the two House members dropped the no texting bills. Peake’s bill, HB 938, says that anyone found guilty of writing, sending or reading a text message while driving would be fined $50 to $100 and have two points placed on their drivers’ license. Amerson’s bill places the fine at $300.

“With the proliferation of cell phone usage, we must address this clear and persistent public safety issue,” Peake said.

But Rep. Gloria Frazier (D- Hephzibah) asked how police officers would be able to detect texters.

“We pass a lot of laws and we don’t try to determine how to enforce them,” Amerson said. “It is like the seat belt law. I am sure they will come up with a method.”

The committee, scheduled to last an hour, actually reached its time limit before anyone was able to testify on the bill. One person not allowed to testify was former DeKalb County CEO Vernon Jones.

In 2006, during his tenure as CEO, DeKalb established a law that fines drivers up to $500 for improper use of a mobile telephone is deemed a contributing factor to an accident.

Jones, who is running for Congress to represent the 4th Congressional District, said DeKalb has the only policy in the state that actually works.

“The word got out quick in DeKalb and it has acted as a deterrent,” Jones said. “Either you say, if this causes as accident, you will be fined. Or you can’t use cell phones at all. That makes it clean and efficient.”

117 comments Add your comment


January 27th, 2010
4:40 pm

Ban talking on the phone while driving too. Please pass this bill.


January 27th, 2010
4:42 pm

Works in other states! pass the bill already.

Don KeBallz

January 27th, 2010
4:43 pm


January 27th, 2010
4:46 pm

Why is our legislators waisting time on something like this when they should be finding ways to encourage businesses to hire more people?


January 27th, 2010
4:47 pm

I say ban cell phones all together!!!


January 27th, 2010
4:48 pm

The other states can’t enforce it either. Without access to phone records you would be reliant on an officer observing the activty. So it would probably have to include texting and phone calls (no prob with that here) Reading a text however, which is more dangerous IMO is tough, phone records wont necessarily help, just because a message landed on your phone doesn’t mean you read it.


January 27th, 2010
4:49 pm

It won’t matter if you’re hired, if you’re slammed into by some teenage girl texting her BFF on the way to work.

Wes Ingram

January 27th, 2010
4:50 pm

What we need is a substanial inreduction in the number of lawyers in this country, especially in DC, more people with moral common sense in all government positions.


January 27th, 2010
4:53 pm

They can start by removing the laptop PCs in every single police car that THEY use while they are driving…every day! GOVERNMENT get out of our lives! You cause a wreck, you pay. Period.


January 27th, 2010
4:55 pm

Don’t we currently have sufficient legislation already on the books? What am I overlooking here?

From the OCGA: Ҥ 40-6-241. Driver to exercise due care; proper use of radios and mobile telephones allowed

A driver shall exercise due care in operating a motor vehicle on the highways of this state and shall not engage in any actions which shall distract such driver from the safe operation of such vehicle, provided that the proper use of a radio, citizens band radio, or mobile telephone shall not be a violation of this Code section.”


January 27th, 2010
4:55 pm

Wes Ingram, AMEN!!!!!! Lawyers should not be allowed to run for legislative positions.


January 27th, 2010
4:58 pm

Enter your comments here


January 27th, 2010
5:00 pm

Ban texting and make hands free mandatory. I’ve almost gotten
hit way too many times already. Let’s see if the Ga. geniuses can
get this done. As with many other things, we’re way behind the curve
on this.

Todd - Dacula

January 27th, 2010
5:00 pm

Does it apply to Police Officers, Firemen and Ambulance personel. I find it had to believe a 24 year old cop who has been driving barely 5 or 6 years to drive better than me, when I have been driving since I was 14 years old and am a retired cop; with quite a bit of my senses and motor skills at age 49.

Police the emergency staff from talking, texting and especially the Gwinnett Police from surfing on computers while driving.


January 27th, 2010
5:00 pm

Ban all cell phone use by operator of all motor vehicles including hands free devices. The penalty for first offense should be 3 month suspension of DL plus $2500.00 fine, 1 year suspension of DL and $5000 fine for second offensee, and for the third offense $10000 fine and permanent revocation of DL without exception.

just sayin

January 27th, 2010
5:02 pm

KJ….If it’s her best friend forever she should just get a warning…..good one…you made me laugh…seriously though talking on a cell phone is harmless for experienced drivers….but I would NEVER text and drive…I suck at texting I have to look at my phone when I text I could kill somebody……on another note..I’m a heavy drinker..I can drink several beers and drive safely……they need a law to protect me and people like like….experienced drinkers


January 27th, 2010
5:02 pm

Ban smoking while driving, ban arguing while driving, ban eating while driving, ban drinking while driving, ban adjusting your seat belt while driving, ban fumbling for change for the toll booth while driving, ban scratching while driving, ban singing while driving, ban shaving while driving, ban putting on makeup while driving, ban looking at billboards while driving, ban dipping while driving, ban eating sunflower seeds while driving, ban adjusting the A/C while driving, ban using your iPod while driving, ban cleaning your fingernails while driving, ban driving….

GA Bureaucrat

January 27th, 2010
5:04 pm

Like Charley said: I’m wondering why this can’t be enforced using existing laws against driving inhibited?

Having said that I’m completely in favor of cracking down on people who text or talk at the expense of being able to drive. I used to see people swerving on the road on Friday and Saturday nights. Now I see it all day every day. 99% the person who is “lane challenged” is usually yakking on their hand held cell phone. The other 1% is Kennesaw residents reloading their firearms (kidding).

limit government! (unless it benefits me)

January 27th, 2010
5:10 pm


wouldn’t the government have to pass the laws and hire the officers to force payment? your argument is ridiculous.

The “free market” at all costs crowd never seem to think things through

GA Bureaucrat

January 27th, 2010
5:16 pm

I don’t but it for a minute that anyone is an experienced enough driver to talk on a handheld cell phone or drink without losing at least some of their ability to drive. I’m sure the people I’ve seen weaving in and out of their lane while yakking thought they were in control or were good enough drivers to handle it.


January 27th, 2010
5:16 pm

Might as well totally ban cell phone usage while driving, if the phone is in the person’s hand. That will be easy to spot by a police officer, and a no-brainer, without having to determine if it is texting or talking.

Big Brother

January 27th, 2010
5:18 pm

let’s also ban talking in the car…that is so distracting. If you are talking to anyone in your car, or even yourself, you should be fined…or better yet, thrown in jail! Let’s just let the politicians hold our hands like little children and tell us when it’s safe to go outside. Clearly they know better than we do.


January 27th, 2010
5:21 pm

i got hit from behind while on my motorcycle,the first thing the person said’i was on my cell phone’,so it does cause problems,i know for certain!!!if they want to pass ANOTHER LAW,why not just say if the police see a phone in your hand .they can give a ticket.PERIOD

Unhappy with Republicans

January 27th, 2010
5:22 pm

Pass the bill or resign your positions.
Lives are at stake.


January 27th, 2010
5:34 pm

Sounds like another reason to give COPS the chance to pull over and harass whomever they want, anytime they want.

GA Bureaucrat

January 27th, 2010
5:39 pm

Big Brother: reductio ad absurdum (look it up)

Great ATL Guy

January 27th, 2010
5:41 pm

Other states have this ban, why don’t they ask those states how they enforce it? DUH……….


January 27th, 2010
5:45 pm

What we need is a no texting and a hands free phone device law. Have you ever been on 285 and noticed how many people are on their phones and can’t even use a signal that they are changing lanes or at the last minute they cross several lanes to exit a ramp? Oh, and please keep Vernon Jones out of the Senate! He did nothing for Dekalb County and his so called phone law I have never heard and have lived in Dekalb County for 10 years.


January 27th, 2010
5:45 pm

Laws and banning thins aren’t the way to stop people from doing things. If you ban texting or talking on a cell phone, it will be just like speeding. People will do it anyway and simply hide the action when they see a cop. The only solution that is practical is to impose a penalty when it is the cause of an accident or other infraction.

Rob Miller

January 27th, 2010
5:48 pm

TEXTING WHILE DRIVING SAVES LIVES!!!!! according to statistics…

in 1988, before cellphones were in mass use, there were 1,660 deaths on GA highways. GA population was 6,316,185.
in 1998, cellphones were becoming prevalent. There were 1,580 deaths, and the population had increased to 7,636,522.
in 2008, texting had become common. There were 1,471 deaths, and the population had grown to 9,685,744.


January 27th, 2010
6:01 pm

Quit yakking and pass the law: No hand held or hand required to operate communication devises allowed in cabins of vehicles in motion unless turned off and secured in glove compartment.


January 27th, 2010
6:28 pm

Banning talking on cell phones while driving WILL NOT stop it from happening.
some of us can actually do both safely, i said some, I admit most of the idiots out there can’t but you shouldn’t punish everyone for the idiots who can’t.

If you are invloved in an accident while on the phone, $1000 fine and you lose your license for a year.

And as far as texting, absoluetly ban it, that is just stupid, you cannot watch the road and look at you phone at the same time!

Try Safety First

January 27th, 2010
6:29 pm

Atlanta based Try Safety First President and entrepreneur John Fischer has developed technology to prevent texting and emailing when behind the wheel. Please open video link. For more information contact John Fischer at 770-652-4517 or

TarHeelBred bleeds TarHeelBlue

January 27th, 2010
6:32 pm

I think that the issue of distracted driving needs to be dealt with but I am uncomfortable with the expansion of government and police powers to do it. Any attempts to deal with this issue should be thoughtful and deliberate, quite a stretch when talking about the Georgia General Assembly….


January 27th, 2010
6:38 pm

Pull all the texting machines from the patrol cars first. A text is a text no matter what its on. Dont the Police need to pay attention while on the road to ?


January 27th, 2010
6:48 pm

PASS THE BILL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Before it’s too late!


January 27th, 2010
6:54 pm

When they are done with this, can they come over to my house and help me pick out what to wear to work tomorrow?


January 27th, 2010
6:55 pm

Here is all you have to do… if someone is involved in an accident and let’s say someone dies. all they have to do is subpoena the phone records of the drives and see if anyone was texting or talking… then fine the heck out of them… or even add more time to their sentence.


January 27th, 2010
7:02 pm

I have to agree with Charlie 4:55 PM.. Seems as though there is already a law on the books that will cover this.


January 27th, 2010
7:17 pm

To me it’s very simple. It doesn’t matter if you are dialing or texting — using the keypad PERIOD should be against the law (unless you are calling emergency services, of course — which is provable). If you need to talk while driving (and some people really do) go hands free. You can get a decent earpiece with voice commands for less than $50. That way the talkers can fulfill their needs and the rest of us can be safer on the roads.

Now the next question is “what should the penalty be?” I suggest this scenario. Since the problem could be avoided for $50, start with that for the first offense. The next one should be $200, and the third should be $500 and a year’s suspension of the driver’s license.

Just my 2 cents!!

featuring kam fong as chin ho

January 27th, 2010
7:30 pm

bunch of numbskulls couldn’t get the sunday liquor sales wrapped up in Snellville (and who needs extra tax revenues these days, anyway? Heck, let’s just pay the attorneys to litigate this endlessly—gee that makes a lot of sense). Tell you what, put some folks who have a head on their shoulders in GA office and —- holding my breath here–you just may put the state into the 21st century (and the public schools)


January 27th, 2010
7:30 pm

Am I the only one here who is happy our legislature isn’t rushing out another bill? Other states that ban texting hurried their bills and soon realized there was no way to enforce it. To the genius who suggested we ask them, it’s already been done: They can’t. Good for the Public Safety committee to send it back to the drawing board. I was elated after reading this article.

Voice of Reason

January 27th, 2010
7:37 pm

Ban use of a cell phone for any reason, while driving. PLEASE!


January 27th, 2010
7:38 pm

ban texting but keep cell phone as is. dialing 10 digits or less is less risky than conversations/sentences.

you're kidding me

January 27th, 2010
7:51 pm

Pass the bill outlawing texting and cell phone use while driving, if its use is a contributing factor in an accident, then let there be stiffer penalties, if some one is killed in an accident in which cell phone use is a contributing factor, then the penalty should be even greater. DO IT TODAY! As a professional driver, I wish people would et serious about this issue.


January 27th, 2010
8:19 pm

I know at least a couple of state legislators probably read this website. If this applies to you, listen the hell up right now.



January 27th, 2010
8:21 pm

Gee, what did people do just a few years ago without a cell phone. Well they worked hard and did their jobs (without their home life with them) and drove home with the radio on (without boom boxes), had some family time (with kids in clothes that fit them, and then they talked to a friend on the phone in the evening. Gee, what a concept huh? Ban the cell phones in cars all together. Its dangerous and it should be a law for everyone. I would also like to see them banned in my place of employment on company property but that will never happen.


January 27th, 2010
8:33 pm

The law should only allow hands free talking on cell phones. It should be illegal to drive with one hand. You are taught the hands should be at 10 and 2 o’clock. When I got my license to drive, driving with one hand would have been a failure.

You cannot properly turn left or right with one hand.

Ban having the cell your hand while driving.

[...] rest is here: Ban on texting while driving bill sent back to drawing board … tags: amerson, capitol, means, not-receive, passport, wealth, will-come, world, you-then | [...]

C. M. Thornton, III

January 27th, 2010
9:16 pm

Afraid you weren’t first Don KeBallz. But you’re probably used to that.

On the topic at hand: Ban the use of cell phones while driving!!!!!!!!!!!!


January 27th, 2010
9:31 pm

Don’t stop with texting. People who drive with pets in their lap should also be fined. I drive 30,000 miles a year in and around Metro-Atlanta. I see all kinds of carelessness. Pets and texting are the 2 that I see consistently that are problems. Eating, drinking, reading, applying make-up are all issues that can affect public safety while driving. They should all be dealt with. Start with pets and texting and save lives and cut down on accidents immediately. The fines alone could help with the shortage of tax revenues we are facing this year.


January 27th, 2010
9:59 pm


It’s a little hard for me to shift gears with my hands at 10 and 2.


January 27th, 2010
10:06 pm

I totally agree on the texting bill. I have been guilty of doing it for a while and just made an effort to stop this year (my new year’s resolution). But is it me when I ask the question why would you bring a bill to the table without doing your homework on how the new law would be enforced. Come on I’m just thinking that’s just “common sense” or maybe it is just ME-hmmmmmmmm.


January 27th, 2010
10:08 pm

That’s like turning in a research paper without doing the research. Again, maybe it’s just me.

say what?

January 27th, 2010
10:17 pm

can we ban children and those awful portable video screens in the car as well? I mean children are a distraction and some parents will take a hand off the steering wheel to find the poor child’s toy that has fallen to the floor. And the parents who use those portable screens in the dark should be fined for being dumb.

Too many laws already. how about the adultry law, can that be applied to ANY of our fine leaders here in GA?


January 27th, 2010
10:32 pm

Ban hand held cellphones altogether. They do it in D.C. and they enforce it. Why do we continue to debate this? We bring it up, a few people object, and we dismiss it. Do it!!!!


January 27th, 2010
11:00 pm

Please ban any cellphone use while driving – whether it be hands-free, handheld, or texting they are all distractions that we lived without for so long and everything was okay. I can’t tell you how many times I am in traffic and notice people around texting and driving. No wonder there are so many accidents that slow down my commute each day. I guarantee 99% of them are due to cellphone use of some sort. There is not one cellphone conversation or text that is worth hurting another person over. Plus, I would really like to get home in the 15-20 minutes that my commute really should be. Not the two plus hours due to accident after accident blocking the roadway. I don’t know why it is so difficult to make a law that only allows cellphone use while in park. I thought it would be so difficult to give up my phone (turn it on silent) while I drove but I have been ignoring it until I get home for over two weeks and it isn’t a big deal to check messages at home. 30 minutes to an hour delay isn’t a big deal with getting back to someone. Please pass this law and show other states that Georgia is serious about safety.


January 27th, 2010
11:17 pm

You know, proofreading helps.


January 27th, 2010
11:24 pm

This is not a case of big brother. We have laws that prevent people from driving 100 miles an hour and endangering others. This is the same principle. Also, even if this is covered in existing legislation, the point is that the legislature wants to “highlight” the issue with new legislation that draws attention the problem. All cell phone usage should be banned while driving. I see multiple drivers every day “hesitating” in their decisions because they are on the phone.


January 27th, 2010
11:27 pm

Turn it off and drive. No message is worth dying for.

dan deacon

January 27th, 2010
11:28 pm

Vernon this the same idiot that was a racist that wanted to, as alledged maybe even verified by now that he demanded, “darken” Dekalb county government by getting rid of white managers. If so, if he’s running for congress, I will personally fight his right to run if he’s been found guilty of racism. That is blatant racism and I understand, there’s more trash on Vernon Jones about the discrimination & irresponsible, semmingly unethical activity during his administration as Dekalb CEO….wasn’t he fired? He should be blackballed and I think the capitol pretty much did that to him by not letting him speak…He must be a real idiot racist.


January 27th, 2010
11:35 pm

Ban someone holding a cell phone up to their ear, or in view for one thing. That way if they’re talking on the phone or holding it up to read/write a text, poof, there’s your reason for pulling them over. Fine someone $1000 for the first offense, along with a 30 day suspension of their license. You can bet that the second one of the lawmaker’s family members are killed by a cell user, they’ll get the bill passed within days. Guess the rest of our loved ones don’t matter so much.


January 28th, 2010
12:28 am

See Charlie’s comment above –

Another waste of our legislature’s time when there’s already a law to cover this. As a cop, I have and will continue to charge the “Driving While Distracted” law (40-6-241) mentioned above. As for them drifting across the road while driving, well, see “Failure to Maintain Lane” (40-6-48)

Our legislature is so busy jumping to pass a useless piece of “feel good” legislation to win votes, they never thought to look and see if there were laws to cover the issue at hand.

P.S. The only way any you could determine if it was a factor at the time of the crash would be by driver admission, unless a peace officer happens to witness the crash, which is rare


January 28th, 2010
2:14 am

Yeah, get government out of our lives! Stop using taxpayer money to pave the roads! Stop fixing potholes! Government laid the asphalt that keeps crumbling, how can we trust them to fix it?!?

But seriously, texting while driving is stupid. Yet, I also see drivers who HAVE to wave their hands around and gesticulate (instead of hold the steering wheel) while talking to the passenger right next to them. That makes me equally nervous. Probably the most practical thing is to jack up the fines and points for causing an accident while using a cell phone in any form – voice or text.

On a final note, you could perhaps determine texting was a factor in an accident if the cell phone has a recently sent text on it… or is in the middle of an unfinished text… though that wouldn’t be a foolproof test.

Enough is enough

January 28th, 2010
2:18 am

Why stop with texting? We obviously need a second law that prohibits knitting while driving. Why do you think the little old ladies are so dangerous behind the wheel? And now knitting is becoming a niche trend with teens and college kids. Someone must stop these dangerous drivers!


January 28th, 2010
2:19 am

What is so had about this BAN the use of cellphones while driving!


January 28th, 2010
2:20 am

sorry “hard”


January 28th, 2010
2:45 am

You know I for one am embarrassed to say I txt and drive. I also freaking hate myself for doing it because I know how dangerous it is. Honestly if they pass a bill or not good for them because I know txting while driving is a very dangerous thing to do. It’s just like drinking and driving honestly. People need to wise up (myself included) and don’t txt and drive. Simple as that. I have been putting my phone in my glove box just so I won’t see if I get a txt message or not. Or Wait until I get to a redlight to respond. Even thought that’s still not a good solution. It’s really up to the person weather they want to put themselves and others in danger while they are txting and driving. Please help me. Actually I think I might start a rehab for people that are addicting to txting that can’t stop while they are driving. I’ll be the first one admitted into my own place.


January 28th, 2010
5:10 am

I think we also need laws against eating while driving, screaming kids in the back seat while driving, changing the radio station while driving and smoking while driving. And that should be just the beginning.

[...] Proposed ban on texting while driving hits obstacle [...]


January 28th, 2010
6:57 am

Well if you are going to ban cell phones, why not ban eating and driving, or flipping radio stations……. those are just as bad as texting also


January 28th, 2010
7:16 am

One free man -
They do not teach hands at 10 and 2 anymore. It is hands at 8 and 4 so the airbag won’t slam your arms into your face. Stay Safe

Real Talk

January 28th, 2010
7:24 am

This is gone to be a hard law to pass reason being if so many people notice people talk and texting that means you yourself is not paying attention to the road way either.And if that is passed what about people looking at there gps systems,and the ones looking at something they printed off map quest. It is so many things that causes accidents not just phone calls and texting. I have seen people read the ajc while driving so why attack the cell phones as the reason for so much going on. Real talk concentrate on something that is gone make live here better ( get rid of the right to work bill ) that is killing alot of families.


January 28th, 2010
7:33 am

Blackberry’s — The folk’s making the decisions about this law use Blackberry’s. They are constantly reading their email’s. Is reading emails included in this.

Bill Johnson

January 28th, 2010
7:54 am

Sadly, although I agree with the idea here, and a ban on cell phone use other than hands-free, it won’t happen. We don’t need any more unenforceable laws on the books. Cheapens the value of other laws, turns enforcement into arbitrary and capricious ‘gotcha’ law.

Rick in Grayson

January 28th, 2010
8:00 am

Ban all cellphone use while a vehicle is moving. Have law officers note the exact time of the offense. Violators can use cellphone records to prove they were making a 911 call.

Krystal Kid

January 28th, 2010
8:07 am

80% percent of all rear end collisions (The most frequent vehicle accident) are caused by driver inattention, following too closely, external distraction (talking on cell phones, shaving, applying makeup, fiddling with the radio or CD player, texting, etc.) and poor judgment. I doubt if we’ll ever stop the madness so I got one of these

A Lonely Blue in a Red State

January 28th, 2010
8:42 am

Just a few months back a report came out listing the best and worst drivers, by state, in rank order. Guess where Georiga fell? Near the bottom! One reason is that drivers ed is not a required high school taught course like it is in so many other states. The bottom line is that we live in a state where many drivers wouldn’t be able to pass a drivers license test if their lives depended on it. Cell phones or not, drivers here are rude, abrupt, disrespectful and act as if they own the whole road. They have little to no regard towards other drivers around them and lost (or never knew) the meaning of courtesy. There are laws on the books now that ban driving side by side on four lane roads of any kind, unless making a left hand turn, that aren’t enforced now. There are laws on the books that require proper signaling when changing lanes, that aren’t enforced now. There are laws on the books that state what the proper stopping distance is between cars at a redlight which, not only are they not enforced. but I’ve seen plenty cops ridding ass and stopping too closely. They want to ban texting while driving, well how about requiring anyone involved in an accident, who is at fault, be required to take a certified drivers ed course regardless of the cause? Or how about law enforcement stop worrying about generating revenue with their side of the road laser tag sessions and start monitoring all the other driver safety laws that are being violated! And it wouldn’t hurt to improve the flow of traffic in and outside of the metro Atlanta area by decreasing congestion. How about that High Speed Rail! How about expanding Marta out to all the areas that really need it like Gwinett, Cobb and Cherokee counties? That would cut down on a ton of cars on the road and people could do all the texting, cell phone talking, make-up applying, newspaper reading and Blackberry cruising that they wanted!


January 28th, 2010
8:58 am

This is the most ass-backwards state. There are no laws that require hands-free devices to be used while driving and yakking. You can smoke just about anywhere and everywhere. But, GOD FORBID if you want to buy a 6 pack on Sunday!?!?!

[...] to pass a ban against texting while driving, we wanted to share the updated information in the AJC about the bill being send to the drawing [...]


January 28th, 2010
9:26 am

Stop complaining – everything in GA is great, we have a republican governor, republican majority in both state houses, in fact nearly every public office in the state is run by a republican – everything is GREAT. They gave us OUR flag back, balanced the state budget, ended unemployment, provided health care for everyone, solved the traffic crisis and reduced the cost of a college education – RIGHT???


January 28th, 2010
9:44 am

It’s pretty simple. The behavior would have to be witnessed by the police. I’d take it one step further: Drivers would not be allowed to hold a cell phone to their ears to make calls while the vehicle is in motion. It would be OK to pull out of traffic to make the call. Hands-free would be required, and OK when the vehicle is in motion.

Fines need to be stiff so the desired behaviors are achieved. Fine should be $250 plus 2 points on your license. If you cause an accident in the process of using your cell phone, then an additional $500 fine applies. When you get deep into people’s pockets, they tend to obey the law.

If an emergency is involved then the fines don’t apply.


January 28th, 2010
9:59 am

This is a “feel good” law and totally unnecessary. CB radios were never made illegal. Making cellphone use illegal won’t give anyone common sense. There are already laws to cover the problem: improper use of a cell phone, failure to maintain lane (charges filed against Lilburn teen), reckless or negligent driving, and even manslaughter or vehicular homicide if someone dies. Seat belt, helmet, and DUI laws have been around for years, but people still choose to ignore the fatal consequences of ignoring the laws.
What’s the next vehicle “distraction” law? No radio/music? No passengers? No kids? No food or drinks? No smoking? No billboards or signage? A distraction is a distraction. The best solution is driver education, not another unenforceable law. Beyond that, there will never be a solution for stupid behavior.


January 28th, 2010
10:05 am

I think Dekalb’s approach is a reasonable one. Fine if it is determined that a cellphone is the cause of an accident. giving police the authority to pull you over and check your phone just because they think your “looking down” too much…. I think that’s too much authority. And like others have commented eating, changing your cd, radio station and even talking with a passenger can all be distractions that result in accidents but you can’t ban all activities. Best to come up with smarter cars combined with smart highways. or hmmmm, enhance public transportation to make it convenient, safe and affordable.


January 28th, 2010
10:27 am

ban talking, or at minimum require hands free use.

whatever happened to actually driving, while driving?

Drink & Drive

January 28th, 2010
10:32 am

one more thought. shouldn’t these people go to jail, not be fined? The same with talking. Assuming the studies are right, texting is 8 times more dangerous, and talking is 2.5 times more dangerous than drinking and driving. drunk drivers go to jail, and texters and talkers don’t?

Texting Queen

January 28th, 2010
10:41 am

Honestly, what difference would it make how the driver is distracted while driving? If you start banning texting while driving, then will you next ban talking to the person next to you while driving, because that’s a distraction too. And glancing at the map on a GPS system? What about thinking while you’re driving? Have you ever been thinking about your day or trying to remember the back way to get somewhere when your normal route has traffic? That could be a distraction too. And is it really a problem to text while stopped at a red light or while sitting in traffic on 75? I’ve seen people driving with both hands on the wheel and still hit people or swerve from lane to lane.


January 28th, 2010
10:45 am

Approximately 3 – 4 weeks ago, I was driving on I-285 – glanced up and noticed emergency lights – lets say 1 – 1 1/2 miles back. As the lights approached – it became clear it was an ambulance and, most of us made our way to the right hand lanes to allow the ambulance to pass. Most of us.
Call it an experience that makes a perfect fit to why this law is needed or call it happenstance – but, just as the ambulance was passing to my left – a younger male driver (maybe 23ish) was also to my left – both hands flung over the wheel typing on the keypad of a blackberry (I assume). The seat belt was stretched to the windshield as he hovered – typing – and, the ambulance less than 50 yards away (same lane). You can fill in the rest of the story.

It’s clear the ‘typing -driver’ had no awareness of what was in front of him – which – when your foot is on the accelerator at 80mph (yes, we were all traveling at that speed or greater) – is a fatality or 4 just waiting to happen. It’s also clear in this experience – an emergency vehicle was hindered – and, unless you were in that ambulance – how will any of us ever know if there was a life-death situation there? Did that result in a fatality? I don’t know.

This law is not something we need to sit around wondering how we’re going to enforce. Whether or not I’m wearing a seatbelt affects only me – but, I do it because it’s the law and it is statistically proven to save lives. Someone fumbling around trying to dial a cell phone or send text on a cell phone while driving clearly endangers the lives of not just the driver, but also anyone around the driver in other vehicles. How many people have to die before that distinction is recognized?

Jeff L.

January 28th, 2010
10:52 am

Only ban talking on mobile phones if it applies to government officials and cops on their radios, since they are really the same thing. Same goes for texting and a laptop.

Good idea

January 28th, 2010
11:20 am

Talking on cell phones is banned in NY. Jack Bauer needs to be pulled over on ‘24.’


January 28th, 2010
11:23 am

If all the government officials would get thier heads out of thier a$$s and do thier jobs this state might move to current day status. I have been so upset over the situations in this state that are allowed to continue just because the management is Stupid. Since I moved here from California, I have called Georgia the state of Stupidity. The law should state that hand held cell phones “should not be used in a MOVING vehicle”. I think ‘hands free’ could be allowed to provide for emergency help. People should be protected by the laws of thier state. People should elect educated,knowledgeable, and honest candidates to run the cities and the state in general. Wake up citizens and do your job right. Maybe then you will get more satisfaction in the way the state is run.


January 28th, 2010
11:39 am

Here is the solution to the problem – BAN ALL TEXTING AND CELL PHONE USE!!!!!

Ralph Eddings

January 28th, 2010
11:42 am

It’s a no brainer . Talking on a cell phone unless hands free has to be the other half of the bill . How MANY people have to die before a gutless politician steps up to the plate . Here’s an idea—-vote ALL incumbents out in November .

Skip E.

Ralph Eddings

January 28th, 2010
11:46 am

Stormie , you go girl .

Ralph Eddings

January 28th, 2010
11:53 am

AJ , I see it on the South side on I75 North bound EVERY day . NEVER any cops out there unless there is a wreck .Speed is out of control . ALL incumbents OUT in November and any other election , City ,state ,or federal . Lets put an END to career politicians . Public servants my rear –more like SELF servants .

Ralph Eddings

January 28th, 2010
11:56 am

Texting Queen , maybe you really need to think once in a while , driving or otherwise .

Ralph Eddings

January 28th, 2010
12:03 pm

You nay sayers need to wake up . Insurance company statistics show that texting while driving now causes 50% more deaths than drunk driving . If you are this clueless I guess we would be safer if you drove drunk . If you ever lost a child maybe then you would know where I am coming from. Anyone I have not insulted , come on back and talk to teddy bear .


January 28th, 2010
12:04 pm

What are they, stupid?? We had a no cell phone usage law in NY before I left there and I left in 2001. Now they have a new non texting law however a driver cannont be pulled over specifically for that. It more of thing where a driver can be penalized if he/she was in an accident and there were claims made or evidence supporting the fact that the driver was texting while driving. Police are supposed to be trained to interrogate right? I think that if police can give you a ticket for “following to close” based on circumstantial evidence that they can definitely give someone a ticket for texting based on certain circumstances. 2 issues: how in the hell are you going to have a non- texting law without a no-cell phone use law which causes more accidents than texting???? The measure probably got sent back because there isn’t a clear enough way for GA police to make $ from this law by giving us a ticket!!!! If you want safety first instead of $, create a no cell phone use law and many problems will be solved!!

Ralph Eddings

January 28th, 2010
12:06 pm

Lonely Blue , from a political agnostic , ALL incumbents OUT .Good OR bad .

Ralph Eddings

January 28th, 2010
12:10 pm

Wes , lowest common denominator in EVERY problem . The ruiners of EVERYTHING .


January 28th, 2010
12:12 pm

This is so funny to me – I saw someone texting and driving for the first time this morning. I thought she was drunk. She was weaving back and forth and decelerating for no particular reason. Maybe the solution is to make them walk a straight line while texting the alphabet. If they can’t pass charge them with DUIT.

This is STUPID

January 28th, 2010
12:23 pm

How will the law be enforced, I use my cell when driving, I can talk on my call using the speaker and it may look like I am texting, when I am actually talking into the speaker of the phone. There is no way to enforce in uniformerly across the board. The Government wants to control everything that that is wrong. Theses elected officals don’t have anything better else to do but pass broad overreaching laws that give law enforcement another reason to pull people over. This will increase revenue for them, how can a person defend against that. It is a CATCH22. DON’T PASS

This is STUPID

January 28th, 2010
12:28 pm

This is a feaking stupid law. Again, no way to properly enforce it without, but lets put it on the book anyway and fine the heck out of the very people that voted you in office. This will give law enforcement a free hand to pull people over if they see a cell phone. That is because the law is too broad and overreaching. STOP THE STUPIDITY LAW MAKERS!!!!! YOU HAVE OVER-STEPPED YOUR BOUNDS IN GIVING LAW ENFORCEMENT THIS MUCH POWER OVER THE PEOPLE, YOU HAVE TO STOP THIS NOW!!!! OR THE MOST HIGH IS GOING TO LIGHT UR A&& UP!!!


January 28th, 2010
12:31 pm

Sounds like time for recalls. Get rid of the sissies!!!!!!!!


January 28th, 2010
12:36 pm

If there is a law already on the books that address “any type of driving distraction” that may cause an accident or whatever then why waste time reinventing the wheel. If lawmakers want to do something why don’t they go over all the a**backward laws Georgia already has on the books that make Georgian’s lives hell (i.e., require banks/lenders to provide homeowners with 90 day foreclosure notices as opposed to 30 day notices; develop more consumer-friendly laws and take away the control of predatory credit card issuers, banks, title pawn shops, etc.) With the laws Georgia has on their books it’s no wonder the unemployment rate is as high or higher than the national rate – the people has no laws to protect them!!


January 28th, 2010
1:26 pm

Someone should check out the legislators who are delaying passage of a bill like this for contributions from the cell phone industry and providers. Might be interesting.
If they’re good politicians, when they’re bought they stay bought.


January 28th, 2010
2:04 pm

Great idea on the Texting Ban. How about Eating while driving or reading a book or papers while driving. I see that all the time too. I just don’t see how you can enforce this law.


January 28th, 2010
2:21 pm

Anyone else think that the real culprit is our arcane transportation system that puts too many cars on too little roads?

I don’t drive in the crap you guys do, so I don’t see the problems – texting on MARTA doesn’t seem to cause any problems.

Maybe if the state would get their act together on transportation……never mind.

Talking while driving

January 28th, 2010
2:29 pm

I can see some logic to banning texting while driving. However, enforcability is a huge question with phones that can do far more than texting. How about using the iPod funciton on my iPhone? How about using a iPod touch to send email but that cannot text per se. Why not ban DISTRACTED DRIVING rather than conduct a witchhunt on just the current popular driving boogeyman? If I get hit by someone putting on makeup or changing a CD do I feel better than if that person had been texting?

As for completely banning cell phone, that is absurd. With Bluetooth, you can talk on the phone and not be distracted. I know…I do it all the time. But go ahead…ban that too. My car has built in Bluetooth and voice controls with buttons on the steering wheel. I am going to talk while driving and it will not be possible to detect it. “I was singing officer…that was why I was talking and no one was in the car.”

Harold C

January 28th, 2010
2:51 pm

Anything other than a complete ban with cell phone companies allowing confirmation of usage during the time of ticketing (or accident) would be a mess in the courts. You can’t just say if a phone is visible or in use because a person could easily get around that law by placing their cell phone on the seat with speaker-phone enabled.

And I’m not for banning all phone use while driving. Texting and email yes.

Any law that is easy to get around is not worth the money and effort needed to pass.

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by GraceBarkwell, Phone Number Reverse, Phone Number Reverse, Jeff Scott, Marvin Arrington Jr. and others. Marvin Arrington Jr. said: RT @KLHILLSMAN: GEORGIA POLITICO: Ban on texting while driving bill sent back to drawing board | Gold Dome Live – [...]


January 28th, 2010
4:45 pm

I don’t see what the big deal is. I drive and talk and text. If you can’t drive then you can’t drive. When all the accidents happened before everyone and their granny had a cell phone there was no ban on cars or limited driving for us, this is a part of life. Be responsible if you can’t do both then don’t but don’t place a choke on me. How many of you can live without the cell phones? If it wasn’t a cell phone then its some other distraction. I watched a guy hit a car in the back last week, not because he was on the phone but because he was looking at some big boobs and booty walking up the sidewalk.


February 1st, 2010
9:41 am

Let the retards who txt and drive wreck


March 1st, 2010
9:24 pm

OMFG! – How do animals like Bernie Bicoy – who is a twice convicted child molestor make bail?

This guy lied and faked himself as a lawyer and business investor consultant to win trust of kids. Out of all people, the govern lets him out on bail!

Damn streets of Lake Forest are hazardous. Who do we petition?

aaron humes

March 2nd, 2010
4:02 am

I wonder how many people can walk straight while texting?

[...] of cell phone usage, we must address this clear and persistent public safety issue,” said Rep. Allen Peake (R-Bibb County). We will keep an eye out for any changes from the Georgia House and Senate. Texting while driving [...]


June 17th, 2010
1:32 pm


Very new to this….. and just want to say hello to everyone!!! Would love to hear from you all……re your experiences of forums, interests I like gardening, reading and chilling out with friends