Thomasville Police Department Participates in National Texting Enforcement Crackdown

| April 8, 2014

police-car-thomasvilleTHOMASVILLE, GA – Motorists from all over the country are reminded that from April 10-15, 2014, law enforcement personnel will be using a combination of traditional and innovative strategies to crack down on motorists who text while driving. This effort is a part of the national U Drive. U Text. U Pay. high-visibility enforcement campaign that combines periods of intense enforcement of anti-texting laws with advertising and media outreach to let people know about the enforcement and convince them to obey the law.   April has been designated as the National Distracted Driving Awareness Month.

“People need to know that we are serious about stopping this deadly behavior,” said TPD Lieutenant Donna Langston. “Driving and texting has reached epidemic levels, and enforcement of our state texting law is part of the cure.”

Violating Georgia’s texting law, which became effective on January 1, 2010, can be costly.

O. C. G. A. § 40-6-241: Distracted Driving

A driver shall exercise due care in operating a motor vehicle on the highways of this state and shall not engage in any actions which shall distract such driver from the safe operation of such vehicle, provided that the proper use of a radio, citizens band radio or mobile telephone shall not be a violation of this code section.

O.C. G.A. § 40-6-241.1: Cell phone Use Prohibited for certain drivers: (Under 18 years of age)

Except in a driver emergency, no person who has an instruction permit or a Class D license and is under 18 years of age shall operate a motor vehicle on any public road or highway of this state while engaging in a wireless communication using a wireless telecommunications device.

Engaging in a wireless communication means the act of participating in any of the following: Talking, writing, sending or reading a text-based communication, or listening on a wireless telecommunications device.

If the operator of the moving motor vehicle is involved in an accident at the time of a violation of this Code section, then the fine shall be equal to double the amount of the fine imposed in paragraph (1) of this subsection. The law enforcement officer investigating the accident shall indicate on the written accident form whether such operator was engaging in a wireless communication at the time of the accident.

O.C. G.A. § 40-6-241.2: Texting Prohibited (Over 18 years)

No person who is 18 years of age or older or who has a Class C license shall operate a motor vehicle on any public road or highway of this state while using a wireless telecommunications device to write, send, or read any text based communication, including but not limited to a text message, instant message, e-mail, or Internet data.

In 2012, there were 3,328 people killed and 421,000 injured nationwide in distraction-affected crashes. The University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute reports that a quarter of teens respond to a text message once or more every time they drive, and 20 percent of teens and 10 percent of parents admit that they have extended, multi-message text conversations while driving.

“When you text while driving, you take your eyes off the road, hands off the wheel, and mind off the task of driving. That puts everyone else’s lives in danger, and no one has the right to do that,” said Lt. Langston.

“We’re serious about enforcing texting laws. If you drive and text, you will pay,” Langston added.

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Source: City of Thomasville

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