Georgia Law Enforcement Officers Find Hands-Free Law Effective
GWINNETT COUNTY, GA. – According to a new report online at wsbtv.com, law enforcement officers in Georgia are finding the state’s Hands-Free effective at reducing distracted driving. The law went into effect last summer and bans all handheld use of electronic devices while driving.*
Numbers recently released indicate Georgia State Patrol issued more than 8,000 citations for violations of the law since it went into effect on July 1. The law was one of the largest changes in Georgia traffic regulations, and officers were diligent in enforcing it after July.
“The overall goal is just to keep people safe,” said Trooper Cory Croscutt. “We’re specifically looking for violations of the Hands-Free law.”
After almost half a year of enforcement, officers say they’re starting to see a trend of people complying with the law. They are increasingly not having to issue as many tickets for violations.
“People should know at this point and be familiar with the Hands-Free law,” Croscutt said. “I think the law has helped a lot. People are more aware of it, more vigilant. When you’re looking at that phone, it’s as dangerous as drunk driving.”
Final data regarding distracted driving crashes in the state will not be available for some time, but preliminary numbers are encouraging. Fatal vehicle accidents in Georgia appear to have declined in 2018 compared to 2017. In 2017, 1,500 traffic-related fatalities occurred in the state. Preliminary numbers for 2018 show those fatalities lowered by about 100.
When finalized numbers are calculated — which likely will not be until well into 2019 — officers and lawmakers will be able to truly see how effective the Hands-Free law has been at reducing distracted driving and traffic deaths in Georgia.
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