Tougher Cell Phone Laws Needed in Construction Zones in Atlanta and All of Georgia
GEORGIA – November 1, 2018 (forconstructionpros.com) An editorial article on forconstructionpros.com discusses the problem of distracted driving accidents in work zones and how tougher cell phone laws might make the difference.
More than 3,300 people have died in work zone accidents in the United States in the last five years, including about 650 construction workers. More than 35,000 people have been injured in the same time because of work zone accidents. Government data shows that at least 500 of these accidents were related to distracted driving.
Almost all 50 states have legislation banning texting and driving, and 16 states, including Georgia, have laws banning hand-held use of electronics. The Hands-Free Georgia Act went into effect in July, making it illegal for drivers to use any handheld electronic devices. In the first month of its enforcement, nearly 1,000 citations were issued to drivers violating the law. With the first citation, people are fined $50. The fine moves up to $100 and $150 with the second and third violations and adds points onto the drivers’ licenses.
In a recent survey of 1,200 Georgians by AAA, however, 98 percent of participants said they were aware of the new law, but 75 percent of participants said they had still seen people using cell phones while driving. Sixty percent also said they had still seen people texting while driving. In other words, according to the survey, almost all drivers in Georgia know about the law, but many are not following it.
The author of the above-linked article says if stricter laws like Georgia’s are not working in normal conditions, they are not good enough for work zones. Distracted driving laws should be present in all states, the author says, and they should be toughest for work zones to protect workers and motorists.
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