April 30 marked the official beginning of a movement that is
sweeping the country: National No Phone Zone Day. While not technically a national holiday, it might as well be, having gained a massive following since Oprah Winfrey began the campaign in January on her top-rated daytime show. The movement, which has received support from corporate heavyweights like Sprint and government officials like Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood, formally kicked off with a live broadcast on The Oprah Winfrey Show that centered around live testimonials both from those who had lost loved ones to cell-phone related automobile accidents and those who had personally survived them.
In addition to Oprah's main live broadcast in Chicago, five satellite cities participated in the discussion with live audiences and celebrity moderators. Atlanta was one of those cities, which was especially appropriate considering that Georgia had passed two bills related to the use of mobile phones while driving just the day before.
One of the two bills, SB 360, banned texting while driving and passed with a vote of 131-19. The other bill, HB 23, passed unanimously; it outlaws teens aged16 and 17 from using a cell phone in any way while driving. The penalty if one of these teens caught is driving while cell phone is a $150 fine; double that in the case of an accident. The teens also risk having their licenses suspended for 90 days if the accident is determined to have been caused by their using cell phones while driving. As a Georgia auto accident lawyer, I am heartened by the passage of these bills, and have high hopes that they will save hundreds of Georgia drivers' lives over the coming years. I also am heartened that the states of Michigan and Wisconsin have followed suit, passing similar texting bans over the past week.
If you or a loved one have been critically injured or killed as the result of a distracted driver, you are not alone. Some 6,000 deaths occurred in the U.S. in 2008 due to distracted driving, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. But you also are not alone in that you have strong allies who can help you to get back on your feet. As Greater Atlanta car accident attorneys, we at the Law Offices of P. Charles Scholle, PC are seasoned advocates of Georgia cell phone accident victims and their families. Please contact us today to find out how we can help you learn your full rights and receive your full claim.