COLUMBUS, Ga – While it’s illegal and can cause drivers distractions that lead to deadly accidents, so many are distracted by phones while on the road. Now, Georgia authorities are putting their efforts to stop this behavior in overdrive.
Last year, an estimated 1,432 deaths happened on Georgia highways. Of those, the Department of Transportation estimates nearly 75-percent were linked to driver behavior.
“The one thing to remember, though, in some of the fatalities, it wasn’t the victims’ fault. It was someone else’s behavior,” according to Brian Mixon, Law Enforcement Liaison for the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety.
Happening now, Georgia law enforcement officers are launching an aggressive attack against one of the most common modern distractions – – cell phones – – and they mean business. If you are texting, glancing at your phone while at a red light, or scrolling through your iTunes, and a police officer sees you, it could mean a ticket. Keep in mind, too, that now officers have even begun to go undercover to catch distracted drivers.
“A pair of police officers got into an unmarked car with me. We drove up and down one of the main streets in Perry and videoed drivers who were actively distracted. Whether they were using their phones to send and receive messages– some were surfing Facebook,” Mixon told News 3. “When we saw those violations, we actually called it out to those troopers [waiting down the road], and they made the stop and then made the citation of warning.”
These types of crackdowns are going on throughout the state, and it’s not just during the Click It or Ticket It Campaign. Drivers could be caught at any time.
Georgia law prohibits drivers from using a cell phone in a car for any reason, other than talking. If a driver is under 18, he or she is not allowed to use a cell phone in a moving car for any reason.
“Put your phone down. There’s nothing on that phone that’s more important than the lives you’ve been entrusted with while driving that motor vehicle,” Mixon said.