Patchwork Cellphone Regulations in the Atlanta Metro
The cellphone is an important part of American life. With the advent of iphones and Android devices the cell is no longer limited to talk, but has become a personal computer in many regards. Almost 30 percent of Americans now solely use cellphones and no longer use landlines. But with the ubiquitous nature of the cellphone comes the risk of additional Atlanta automobile accidents caused by driver inattention.
The Atlanta metro counties each have different laws regarding cellphone use. Leaving drivers with the difficult task of following different laws based on whether they are driving in Dekalb or Cobb County. Dekalb County has taken a proactive approach and banned drivers from talking on hand-held cellphones while driving. However, neighboring Fulton and Cobb counties have not followed suit. A lack of uniformity of laws in the metro causes confusion.
UPS, which is headquartered in Atlanta and has many employees on the road, has recognized the dangers posed by distracted driving. UPS does not let employees use cellphones at all while driving.
Georgia currently only prohibits texting while driving at the state level. In addition, no one under the age of 18 is allowed to use a cell phone while driving in Georgia. Officials in the State Senate have also discussed a ban on cellphone use while driving. However, several legislators believe that a ban is not necessary. A uniform statewide ban on hand-held cellphone use would be more consistent, but appears to be some time away.
Proposed Ban Discussed at National Level
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) recently proposed a total ban on all cell use while driving, even if using hands-free technology. The NTSB cites studies that have shown distracted driving has become a leading cause of car accidents.
In 2010, across the nation’s roads 3,000 people were killed as a result of distracted driving, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. Studies show that driver response time is significantly affected in the seconds it takes to look at a cellphone to dial a number or read a text message. This puts both the driver, any passengers in the vehicle and others on the road in danger.