ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Police said that even if you take a bite of food while driving, you’re breaking the law.
If you don’t want to get a ticket in Albany, you have to pay attention to the road.
“Basically we want everybody to take their time, plan their route, don’t be in a rush,” said Terry Brown, a corporal for the Albany Police Department. “People think it’s a common thing to do. If it’s taking your focus off the driving, I’ve seen people reading papers, anything that takes your eyes off the road for any period of time is considered distracted driving.”
Officers said even taking a bite of food violates Georgia’s Hands Free law. Add that to the heavy traffic expected during the holidays and it’s a recipe for disaster.
“The added volume of cars and people that are already distracted that are not restrained, on top of driving, we just want everybody to be mindful of that,” said Brown.
This Thanksgiving, Albany police said they’ll be looking for distracted drivers, safety violations, making sure that no lives are lost and no property is damaged.
“If your light is green and traffic is backed up, you cannot block the intersection. That is called impeding the flow of traffic and that is a citable offense in the state of Georgia,” explained Brown.
Officers want pedestrians to be mindful as well. Not only that, police said that distracted driving is the main cause of crashes at intersections.
“As you approach your intersection be mindful that people are not paying attention, one track mind," said Brown. "[I] gotta get this gift, I just gotta be at this one spot so, pretty much just keep your eyes open,” said Brown.
Officers said they’re also looking for people without seat belts and making sure children are in their car seats.
They also want drivers to give themselves enough space to move their vehicle, that way they can avoid an accident.