Georgia Legislature Questions the Wisdom of Passing Law Prohibiting Texting While Driving
Georgia Distracted Driving Accident Attorneys Discuss the Potential Ramifications if the Measure Does Not Pass
Georgia House Bill 673, which passed Georgia's House of Representatives in a landslide vote after amendment, appears to have staunch opponents going forward. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Georgia's five Republican candidates for governor along with several other legislators oppose House Bill 673. The opponents to House Bill 673 claim that the law is nothing more than another instance of "Big Brother" invading our personal space and telling us how to act, but the fate of House Bill 673 is in the Georgia Senate's hands.
Montlick & Associates, Attorneys at Law, have always fought for the rights of victims of car accidents involving distracted drivers. The sad fact remains: even if House Bill 673 passes and the governor signs it into law, people will use their cellphones unlawfully while driving or become distracted by something else and take their eyes of off the road. Montlick & Associates' texting accident attorneys will push on as standard bearers in the fight to achieve justice for the victims and families of accidents caused by drivers who were texting while driving.
What is House Bill 673?
House Bill 673 advances the discussion about safety on Georgia's roads. The bill bans driving while texting, using your GPS device, reading an email, or otherwise manipulating your phone while driving. The bill also outlaws even holding a phone while operating a vehicle. The only lawful means of using a cellphone would be with a hands-free device.
Law enforcement argued in favor of passing the bill into law. Chief law enforcement officers within the Georgia State Patrol claimed that the current law is ineffective for stopping distracted driving. Georgia law currently forbids texting while driving but does not go any further. Thus, officers have nearly an impossible time trying to determine if someone is texting or using his or her GPS on phones. The latter is permissible; the former is a violation of Georgia law. House Bill 673 proposes to eliminate that confusion. A law enforcement officer who observes any driver with a cellphone in hand would be stopped and cited for a violation. The officer would not have to figure out if the driver was texting to pull the person over.
Privacy Concerns Versus Public Safety
The Republican sponsor of House Bill 673 sees the legislation as a method of reducing auto wrecks caused by distracted drivers. The lieutenant governor has a different opinion and observed that House Bill 673 has a long road to hoe and expects that the measure could stall out in the Georgia Senate. Even if the bill survived to pass through the Senate, the governor would need to sign the bill before it became law.
House Bill 673 gathered numerous opponents because the law is seen by many to be an intrusion into our shrinking privacy. It has been argued that the government, represented by the police, can intrude on a person's life if an officer makes an observation of unlawful behavior with a cellphone. Many people think that government is big enough and need not receive more power from the electorate.
The debate continues. At least one commenter called the debate the "seatbelt issue of the 21st Century." Another state senator argued that people, in general, need to take personal responsibility for their actions. While true, the carnage continues to mount, and the evidence grows that distracted driving is a threat to everyone's safety.
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If you have been injured in any type of accident caused by someone else's negligence, contact Montlick & Associates today for your free consultation with an experienced Accident Injury Attorney in Georgia. Montlick & Associates has been representing those who suffer serious injuries throughout all of Georgia and in the Southeast for over 38 years.
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Cited within and https://legislativenavigator.myajc.com/#bills/HB/673
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