Whether you drive a passenger car, a pickup truck, or semi-truck truck in the state of Georgia, starting July 1st, you will no longer be permitted to hold your cell phone in your hand while operating your vehicle. That also includes any other electronic devices as well. Instead, it must be connected to Bluetooth or you must use another hands-free method should you need to make a call or send a text message.
It was at the beginning of the month when Governor Nathan Deal signed House Bill 673. The new law is geared toward cutting down on the number of distracted driving accidents that are occurring on GA roadways just like the one that transpired on I-16 in South GA involving five Georgia Southern University nursing students. Back in 2016, the nursing students were driving on I-16 when a distracted tractor-trailer truck driver crashed into the back of their vehicle traveling at a rate of 70 mph. Emily Clark, Morgan Bass, Abbie Deloach, Catherine Pittman, and Caitlyn Bagget were all killed in the crash. Two other students, Brittney McDaniel and Megan Richards, were left injured as a result of the collision.
The families of these victims attended the bill-signing ceremony and they can only hope that this new law will help save lives and prevent more families from having to experience the pain and loss they have had to endure because of the distracted driving accident that claimed their daughter’s life. The mother of one of the deceased nursing students was seen embracing others who had lost loved ones and clutching the pen that was used to sign the bill.
While there are some who criticize the bill, saying it is “an example of government overreach,” AJC is saying the law “will be the most significant change in driving rules since lawmakers banned texting while driving in 2010.” In 2016, nearly 3,450 people died in distracted driving accidents in the U.S., according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Those in favor of the bill say the existing ban on texting made it rather difficult for officials to enforce the law. Apparently, if you were pulled over and had your hand in your phone, you could simply tell the officer you were talking on it, even if you were texting, and there isn’t anything they could then do to reprimand the driver.
To help you better understand House Bill 673, here is what is prohibited under it:
- After July 1st, you can no longer hold or support with any part of your body, a wireless telecommunications device or stand-alone electronic device. This includes things like an iPod or iPad.
- You can no longer write, send, or read any text-based communication, including a text message, instant message, email or internet data while holding your device.
The fact is, distracted driving continues to claim the lives of people of all ages, and with this new law, Georgia lawmakers, residents, and even survivors of these accidents are hoping to see a decline in distracted driving.
But, if your life has already been impacted by a distracted car or semi-truck driver, it is important that you take the appropriate legal action and exercise your rights as a victim. The Marietta truck accident lawyers at Imbriale Injury Law are some of the most experienced professionals in the field and can help you recover the compensation you and your family are entitled to for the pain and losses you have experienced.
Whether you live in Marietta or Kennesaw, an Imbriale Injury Law truck crash attorney is available to help you get back on your feet while holding the at-fault party responsible for their negligent behavior. You can call this firm 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 678-445-7423 for a consultation and learn more about how this team of lawyers can help you.
You can reach Imbriale Injury Law at:
145 Towne Lake Parkway, Suite 200
Woodstock, GA 30188