Alabamans Want to Follow Georgia’s Lead on Distracted Driving Laws
ALABAMA – October 31, 2018 (cbs42.com) After seeing the success of Georgia’s Hands-Free law combatting distracted driving, Alabamans want a similar measure to pass in their state. The story is reported online at cbs42.com.*
In late September, Georgia lawmakers announced that traffic fatalities were down 11 percent in the state. Traffic deaths were at a 10-year low at that point, and the state had seen 128 fewer deaths in 2018 compared to the same number of months in 2017.
Much of the reduction of traffic deaths in Georgia has been attributed to the state’s Hands-Free law, which places a ban on the use of all hand-held electronic devices while driving. Georgia drivers must use hands-free technology if they want to make a phone call or check messages on their phones. The law, which went into effect at the beginning of July, was aimed at addressing rampant distracted driving in the state, and so far, it looks to have succeeded.
Alabama lawmakers are hoping to use the success of the Hands-Free Georgia Act as motivation for passage of a similar law in their state. Alabama Senator Jim McClendon is sponsoring a hands-free law when the legislature returns in March, and he hopes Georgia’s example will help it move through with ease.
“I think drivers are frustrated,” McClendon said. “You see people crossing the line, drifting around, driving slower, and you can see what they’re doing or see their cell phone up instead of looking at the highway. I think our drivers are ready for something safer on the highway.”
Alabama resident Michelle Lunsford is an example of just that kind of driver. She lost her daughter in February 2018 to a distracted driving accident and is in total favor of stricter legislation in the state.
“The proof is in Georgia,” Lunsford said. “It shows you that’s what we need in Alabama. More lives will be saved when people are paying attention to the road and no other distractions in their car.”
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