Thomas Co. cracking down on traffic offenders -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Thomas Co. cracking down on traffic offenders


By LeiLani Golden - bio | email

THOMAS COUNTY, GA (WALB) –Law enforcement agencies in Thomas County are cracking down on traffic offenders and warning people about new driving laws.

Authorities say the increase in teen drivers and vacationers during the summer creates the potential for more crashes.

We rode with a traffic officer who says their crackdown is saving lives.

Many new traffic laws went into effect this month. And now law enforcement want to make sure you know about them.

"The texting law is really good," says Officer Chris Baggett with the Thomasville Police. "A lot of people get one the phone and start texting and don't pay attention to the road. They don't see that kid that runs out in the road after a ball. They don't see that car in front of them slowing down."

For now, authorities are mostly warning drivers about the new truck seat belt and cell phone driving laws because they say many people just aren't aware they exist.

But not everyone who does know about the new laws, like 16-year old Ashley Brumbley, agrees with them.

"I don't like the law cause I would love to text and drive. But more people get in wrecks because of texting and talking on the phone. I gotta make sure I don't text and drive cause I don't want to wreck."

But Ashley's mother agrees that the new laws will keep her daughter safer on the road.

"Kids nowadays don't realize the accidents that happen out there and it just frightens me for them," says Tammy Brumbley.

And while there are some new laws that will earn violators just a warning, officers won't go easy on some longstanding ones.

(Traffic stop) "I'm Officer Bagget with the Thomasville Police Department. The reason I stopped your vehicle is because I noticed the juvenile in the back was not wearing a seat belt."

"Sometimes it's frustrating cause they don't understand. But every time I conduct a traffic stop, even if they're not happy and call me names and don't understand that I'm just doing my job, I feel like somewhere down the road, I will have saved that person's life," he says.

Which is why the new driving laws were put into place.

Thomasville Police say they will get a lot stricter with the new driving laws starting August 1st.

But they say repeat offenders won't keep getting warnings and will be cited even before next month.

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