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Banned: Texting while carting

If you type on your phone while driving — including operating a golf cart — you’re almost certainly breaking a new state law that went into effect last week.

Text messaging, emailing and web surfing are now prohibited to all drivers under the new law, according to Fayette County Sheriff Wayne Hannah.

The ban applies to drivers of all ages, Hannah added. And in Peachtree City it will also apply to golf cart drivers whether they are on cart paths or city streets, according to Peachtree City Police Capt. Rosanna Dove.

The newly-approved complete ban on all cellphone use for drivers under the age of 18 may also be enforced on golf cart drivers, whether they are on the city’s cart path system or a public road, Dove said.

Hannah noted that adults particularly may not be aware the ban on texting, email and Internet use apply to drivers of all ages.

“Adults need to know it includes them,” Hannah said. “I can’t read my email, can’t do a web browser. It’s not just texting and it’s not just teenagers.”

Drivers who are cited for a violation risk a $150 fine, according to both laws.

Drivers are allowed to send text messages, use email and Internet if they are legally parked, Hannah said. But being stopped at a stop sign is not considered being legally parked, he added.

As far as enforcing the law, deputies will be looking for drivers who are punching away at their phones longer than it might take to enter a phone number, for example, Hannah said. If the driver keeps typing away, chances are very high he or she is breaking the new law.

Hannah also has ordered his deputies to curtail texting, emailing and surfing the web while they are on duty. Officers on duty are exempt under the law, but Hannah wants his deputies to drive safely as well, while also sending the right message to the motoring public at large.

“You need to be a safe driver and setting the example anyway,” Hannah said. “I’d rather you not be doing it even though by law you are considered exempt.”

Hannah said the public does watch the actions of deputies and he cited a recent anonymous complaint in The Citizen’s Free Speech about a deputy who didn’t use turn signals. Because the deputy’s car number was published, the deputy was made aware of the expectation that turn signals should be used even while on patrol, Hannah said.

Deputies will have a tougher time enforcing the complete ban on cellphone use for drivers under the age of 18, Hannah acknowledged. He said deputies will not be pulling drivers over because they appear to be underage by the law’s guidelines.

The sheriff’s office will undertake an educational campaign at local schools at the beginning of the school year, Hannah said.



Another law on the books that will never be enforced. Maybe if I see one of 'em doing the dirty deed, I'll just honk my $5.00 bicycle horn loud enough and the PD ATVs will come screeching in to take the little criminals away.

Boy, our little wooded world feels so much safer now.

I have to agree it is a stupid law on the cart paths as far as enforcement is concerned. What is a legally parked cart? Only way they will be able to prove it is if the culprit admits it!! Think that is going to happen here?
Truth tellers go to jail---liars (reflectors of the truth) get off a lot.
Of course if Fayette Courthouse rules apply---or even cider house rules--(rules made by other people (like men for women) for those who didn't approve or make the rules)then all will be well!
I do think that I could have kept my kids and myself from using them knowing they are serious distractions. I still don't.
The law should simply state that anything deemed to be dangerous and unnecessary while driving is a crime.

Ha! LOL!!! The PTCPD has never met a law that they LOVE to enforce. I have
lived in several states, even more communities, I must say I believe they are far overbearing. I drove up to the north side of Atl the other day, saw one cop during the 2.5 hour drive, saw THREE on my ten minute drive
home through PTC. Want to cut taxes? Balance the budget in PTC? The commission just might want to take a look in that area.........

The police always seem to be around.

Feel free to find an area that they don't bother you so in your travels.

fiddle's picture

The only thing that stands between the criminal element and the decent, lawabiding citizens of the Peachtree City Police Department.
That is the reason I live here.

It's certainly not the PTC's Police Department idea to have this law on the books...just a little aside from the State Law.

can't control yourself. Something has happened to your reading comprehension skills on here. No on has said it is the PTC PD's idea to have this on the books. In fact, I'm sure they wish PLENTY of dumb laws are not on the books.

This is another case of legislators NOT in our city making new laws and not realizing the full implications of the effect they will have on local communities. The teens know no one will be around to enforce this, and they will still text and talk and drive.

when in reality, they are just commenting. We said the same thing, just possibly in different ways.

It seems for the most part we agree on most things, it's just that for some reason, that seems to bug you.

That said, it's HOT outside. :)

Okay, I guess you're right there. I just got home from shopping in this heat. Thought I would be done earlier, but no such luck.

I only get bugged when I make a point, and others don't follow my drift. I'll agree to disagree on some things. On others, you'll still hear from me. But that's what this is all about, isn't it? :)

On another note, have you seen the hole they are digging over at Paschall & 74 for the path ramp coming out of the tunnel under 74? Man, they could use those guys in the Gulf to build a few more well holes, couldn't they? I know we have the Chinese here now in PTC, but do we have to drill TO China?

out of there with your cart. I used that crossing over 74 a lot, I'll be glad when they are finished with it.

I've always heard if two folks always had the same opinion, one of them is not needed. :)

SPQR's picture

"The law should simply state that anything deemed to be dangerous and unnecessary while driving is a crime."

Come come there's no political mileage for common sense

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