Law enforcement has a tough job these days. We value the protection they provide to us and are grateful for their service. But it is rare when we can say that we also admire their creativity. Marietta police have gone rogue and creative in catching distracted drivers as they carried on with their texts, tweets and emails. Perhaps some readers actually saw this activity recently as Marietta police stood on the streets looking like they were part of a construction crew, when in fact they were observing distracted drivers and catching them on the spot. As drivers drove through the “construction site” officers were observing first hand the illegal activity of the drivers, essentially catching them while they texted or otherwise read or wrote on their devices. They then would radio ahead to waiting police cars that pulled them over.
The challenge in general for law enforcement is that it is difficult for them to determine what people are doing on their devices and see inside their vehicles. The only thing that is permitted while driving is looking at a map or checking an address. This distinction is difficult, if not impossible, for police to know which is an added challenge. Many drivers were cited or pulled over and seemed surprised by the parameters of the law — when you are on the road and use your device it doesn’t matter that you are stopped at a light. When you are on a roadway and you are looking at your phone, this is not only dangerous, it is illegal. And while your vehicle is running and you are on the road, reading or writing on your device is not permitted under Georgia law.
We thought this would be a good time to go over Georgia law on distracted driving activities because drivers who engage in this practice can cause catastrophic injury or death and the problem is getting worse and worse. Not only do drivers put themselves in danger when they engage in distractions, they put everyone else on the road in jeopardy as well. It is not a rare occurrence to see drivers typing while driving, but also typing while stopped at a signal or in traffic. This is illegal in Georgia and tickets for this not only can add points to your license, they are costly at $150 a ticket. Using a wireless device while driving a vehicle makes it impossible for the driver to focus on all the things that are happening on the road and in his or her vehicle. Driving distracted can result in lane swerving, rear-end collisions, head-on collisions, speed variations and other extremely dangerous movements that can and do result in injury or death.
There are various types of distraction while driving, but the general categories include activities that take the driver’s eyes away from the road in front of them; removing hands from the wheel of the vehicle which is obviously necessary for proper steering, and; taking one’s mental focus away from driving. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) warns that texting or writing while driving is particularly dangerous because all three of these factors come into play when someone is trying to type and drive. Other activities that can be distracting such as talking on the phone or eating do not involve all three of these factors.
Distracted drivers cause injury and death every day on our roads and highways. These can be devastating to victims who need legal representation to hold these drivers accountable for their actions. If you have been injured by a distracted driver please contact Scholle Law for a free consultation. We represent injured victims and we do so with tenacity and skill, as well as the highest ethical standards.