Putting The Brakes On Texting At Lights - WJBF-TV ABC 6 Augusta-Aiken

Putting The Brakes On Texting At Lights

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The numbers from the National Safety Council show 28% of car crashes in the U-S are caused by somebody on their cell phone. Texting and driving's been illegal in Georgia since July of 2010. That law also banned teenagers from using their phone at all while behind the wheel. Dee Griffin found two other things many of us do with our phones in the car are actually illegal.

At just about any intersection, on any given day, at any given time you see them. People texting behind the wheel. It's been three years since the anti-texting and driving law was implemented in Georgia. Still, drivers continue to take matters into their own hands, defying the rules of the road and state. Trooper Matthew McDonald of the Georgia State Patrol explains, "we have been working to aggressively tackle the issue. We're constantly finding drivers distracted. Cell phones now a days definitely the Ipads and other smart devices certainly are a distraction to drivers on the road."

While the 2010 law specifically outline the rules against texting while a car is in motion. Many people are using time at lights and intersections to respond to text messages and emails.  It may seem like the ideal opportunity since the car is not in motion. But, state police say it's illegal and they are working to put the brakes on violators. Trooper McDonald says, "we have a lot of people that'll sit at a red light and they think simply because they're not moving down the road they can sit there and they can text and they're okay. That's not the case. You have to be lawfully parked off the roadway."

It's a law that just about everyone has broken, unknowingly. "I don't want to incriminate myself but I think I do that from time to time when I'm at a stop light," says one driver.

Another little known law clears the blurred lines of map usage while behind the wheels. "It would have to be an app. You can't go to a web page and use a bing map or google maps or some of the others and actually go to the internet and search it or read the directions," says Trooper McDonald.  The voice controlled maps are fine as long as drivers are not looking down which usually puts people in the fast lane to a ticket. "Not trying to give too much away, but, people that are simply trying to look down even if they're trying to glance down at their phone your heads only going to do that for so long and eventually that head's going to drop and we know what you're doing."

Violators can face tickets of more than one hundred dollars.  Also, headphones are not legal while driving.

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