VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) - The Valdosta Post of the Georgia State Patrol is making a coordinated effort to curb Distracted Driving. The GSP says there's been an increase of traffic crashes over the last several months, resulting in multiple injuries and several deaths.
Many of these traffic crashes could have been avoided if the drivers had not allowed their attention to have been diverted from the road.
In an attempt to reduce crashes and the injuries that routinely accompany them, GSP Valdosta will begin a series of patrols targeting distracted drivers.
Distracted driving is defined as any activity that could divert a person's attention away from the primary task of driving.
These types of distractions include:
· Using a cell phone or smartphone
· Eating and drinking
· Talking to passengers
· Reading, including maps
· Using a navigation system
· Watching a video
· Adjusting a radio, CD player, or MP3 player
"But, because text messaging requires visual, manual, and cognitive attention from the driver, it is by far the most alarming distraction," says Valdosta Post 31 Commander, SFC Jeromy Roberts .
Georgia Law OCGA 40-6-241 says:
A driver shall exercise due care in operating a motor vehicle on the highways of this state and shall not engage in ANY actions which shall distract such driver from the safe operation of the vehicle, provided that the proper use of a radio, citizens band radio, or mobile telephone shall not be a violation of this Code Section.
Georgia specifically prohibits drivers under the age of 18 from using a phone for texting or calling while driving. It also prohibits anyone 18 and above from texting while driving.