Peach State Drivers Are Turning Common Sense 'On' By Turning Texting 'Off'

By: Caroline Gonzmart Email
By: Caroline Gonzmart Email

Drivers across the Peach State know they need to buckle up -- but they are also quickly learning to put their cell phones down.

Since texting while driving has been made illegal, law enforcement officers say they haven't issued many of the $150 tickets -- but it's with good reason.

Sgt. Scott Woodell with the Georgia State Patrol says, "We're trying to educate people on this law and hopefully they will take steps on their own to [say], 'hey, let's not do this,' without us having to get involved as a regulatory agent."

And it looks like the education is working: many drivers say they know they shouldn't text -- and when they stop to think about it, that 'urgent' message really isn't so important after all.

Collette Smith has a 16-year-old son who, she says, has been warned to never text and drive.

Says Smith, "I think that it's very dangerous ... and something can happen so quick[ly], before you know it -- you can look down, and look up, and be killed."

Ryan Brock lives in Thomas County and says, "Really, if you're distracted, then there's no way you can pay attention to what's going on ... so if someone suddenly stops, you're probably going to hit them."

Texting while driving isn't just dangerous -- it can also be expensive.

Insurance agents say those who receive tickets can expect to see a jump in their premiums, sometimes by as much as 20 percent.

Says Thomasville insurance agent Bill Raney, "We try not to punish or reprimand people, but you can kind of punish yourself if you pick up a ticket or have an accident."

Drivers say the easiest way to avoid an accident and 'arrive alive' is by ignoring their phones altogether.

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