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'No phone' zone for teen drivers; texting while driving banned for everybody

Separate ban enacted for drivers who text, email, instant message or surf Internet

Georgia drivers under 18 will face a $150 fine for using their cellphone while driving, and drivers of all ages will face fines for texting, instant messaging, emailing or surfing the Internet behind the wheel, beginning July 1.

The new rules of the road were adopted Thursday in two separate bills approved by the Georgia legislature.

The teen driver cellphone ban could have a potential impact on Peachtree City’s path system because Georgia law recognizes golf carts as motor vehicles.

While police may find it difficult to enforce the law on regular automobile traffic, teens won’t have many places to “hide” their phones while driving on the cart path.

Should a driver under 18 be found to have used a cellphone in the course of a motor vehicle accident, the fine is doubled to $300 under the new law. The teen cellphone ban would also exact a one point deduction under the state’s “point system” rating licensed drivers.

Violation of the all-age prohibition on texting, emailing, instant messaging and web surfing while driving will net a fine of between $50 and $100 according to the statute approved by the general assembly.

Both bills will go into effect July 1, presuming they are signed into law by Gov. Sonny Perdue.

Rep. Matt Ramsey of Peachtree City, who sponsored the teen driver cellphone ban, said both bills result in major safety improvements on Georgia roads. Ramsey proposed the bill last year several months after a texting teen nearly collided with his vehicle on Peachtree Parkway south of Booth Middle School.



NOW U R talkin', Matt! Way 2 go!:)

So if I have an ipod tethered to a cellular modem functioning as a GPS, giving me turn-by-turn directions in my car, I'm now subject to a $150 fine for "web surfing"?


The 5-0's picture

He has a good point about the web surfing section of the law.

I wonder if hands-free talking for under 18 applies as well?

I know you all have seen this, women putting on makeup or doing their hair. Men shaving and reading the paper. Yes all while driving a car. Not sure which is more dangerous.

mbest's picture

Navigation systems are exempt but if your using your ipod to navigate you may have a hard time proving you were navigating and not texting. The law will put a large burden (or discretion depending on how you look at it) on the officer's shoulders.

The day this one goes into effect I am going to find the first PTC cop I can and drive back and forth in front of him with the top down searching Google on my Droid for the nearest Chipotle. Nine! Count them...NINE!!! 9 court rulings that set precedent in this area. The law for all ages will be off the books by August 1 2010. The brain dead rednecks in the GA legislature should have looked around at VA, DC, MD, PA, OK and CA before they wrote this one. Read the language of the bill!!! Keep on surfin' with your iPhones, Droids, laptops and krispy kreme PDAs...the law is on your side! This one will be so much fun I think I will get Charles Ballard to represent me. He loves a fun case too!

mbest's picture

Is it so important to show us all you think you know something that you would encourange that kind of wreckless conduct. Surfing the web while trying to look at the small screem of a Droid and drive?!! Don't forget you may be talking to idots out here who can't walk and chew gum and don't have the sense to know you might be kidding.

mudcat's picture

How about your texting show distracts you for a couple seconds and you run over someone like my mother-in-law? Ok bad example, but what about someone else you kill because you are making a point, being inattentive , breaking the law - or all 3.

How's that going to feel you brain dead teenager?

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