On Wednesday, May 2, Georgia Governor Nathan Deal became visibility choked up as he signed a new distracted driving bill. When he signed it into law, he was flanked by the loved ones left behind when five nursing students from Georgia Southern University were stuck and killed by a distracted drunk driver in 2015.
Before signing the new legislation into law, the governor spoke with the families of the victims. He told them that he knew that by him signing House Bill 673, it wouldn’t help mend the family members’ broken hearts. He did, say, however, that he hoped by signing it, it would keep others from having to suffer through the same kind of thing as well.
Under the new bill, motorists are prohibited from handling any electronic devices to include cellphones while driving their vehicles. Even with the signing of this new law, motorists are still entitled to either talk or text using their phones while driving, provided that they do so using hands-free technology.
The new law also prohibits the viewing of movies by drivers behind the wheel. It makes it illegal for motorists to film movies while driving as well.
This new law will go into effect on July 1.
Texting and driving has been outlawed in the state of Georgia since 2010.
This legislation is being signed into law at a time when Georgia has been experiencing a stark increase in traffic fatalities. In 2017, some 1,549 people died in fatal car crashes in the state, a number that’s more than one third over the amount of deaths in 2014. While distracted driving isn’t believed to have caused all of these deaths, it’s thought to have caused many of them.
If you’ve suffered debilitating injuries at the hands of a distracted motorist, then a Moultrie attorney can advise you of your right to file an injury lawsuit in your case.
Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution, “Governor Deal signs Georgia distracted driving bill in emotional ceremony,” David Wickert, May 02, 2018