I think the question you should be asking is “Should I be using my cell phone while driving”? Everyone should know the dangers of using a cell phone while driving, but let’s first look at the cell phones laws in Georgia as well as from across the country.
Most people are aware that we cannot text while driving in Georgia. The penalty for texting is a fine of $150 and one point will be assessed on your license. There are 46 states that ban texting in the U.S. Of the four states that allow texting (Texas, Montana, Missouri and Arizona), 2 prohibit novice drivers from texting and one prohibits school bus drivers from texting.
Novice drivers in Georgia (under 18 years old) are prohibited from all cell phone use while driving in a vehicle and this even includes using blue tooth devices. Basically any driver in Georgia under 18 years old cannot use a cell phone while driving except for emergency situations or if the car is lawfully parked. 38 states currently ban cell phone use by novice drivers (some states define novice differently from Georgia). Two of the closest states that allow a novice drive the usage of cell phones are Florida and South Carolina.
Bus drivers in Georgia are prohibited from all cell phone use as well. Twenty states, including Georgia, have banned the use of cell phones by a bus driver.
Currently there are no states that ban all cell phone use to all drivers. However, 14 states (California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Vermont, Washington and West Virginia) D.C., Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands ban the use of using hand held cell phones while driving. In these states, you will get a ticket if you are seen holding a cell phone will driving. You must use your blue tooth device if you want to make a call.
To sum it up, unless you are a Novice or Bus Driver in Georgia, you can use a cell phone while driving but are prohibited from texting. So yes, you can use your cell phone to make a call, look up something on a map, look at Facebook or play your favorite song. But should you?
The National Safety Counsel released data that 27% of all car crashes in 2013 were caused by cell phone use. Some experts believe that using a cell phone may be more dangerous than driving drunk. Maybe Georgia should join the other 14 states that ban the use of hand held cell phones while driving? Or maybe we should all be smart and pay attention to the road and not our cell phones. Just because it’s legal does not make it right. Too many people are injured every day because of someone’s negligence of looking at their phone instead of the road. Put your cell phone in your pocket or purse and just use your Bluetooth device. Let’s all make the roads a safer place.
If you have been injured in an accident because of someone else’s negligence, you may be eligible for compensation. Call our Woodstock accident lawyer at Limbocker Law Firm. We offer a free consultation and you pay no fees unless we win your case.
Brian Limbocker, J.D., LL.M.
Limbocker Law Firm, LLC
A Personal Injury and Bankruptcy Firm
2230 Towne Lake Parkway
Building 800, Ste. 140
Woodstock, GA 30189
(Offices also available in Marietta, Kennesaw, Atlanta and Duluth)