Hoo-ray for Georgia!

You don’t have to drive in St. Augustine traffic too long before you encounter someone stopped at a green light, driving 20 mph in mid-day traffic along Ponce de Leon Boulevard, or, my personal favorite, riding side-by-side at the same speed as the adjacent driver — effectively blocking both traffic lanes.

What makes it worse, if that’s possible, is that half the time it seems the offending driver is chatting away on their cell phone, or more recently, texting. This is closely akin to the stereotypical “woman driver” who is driving with one hand and looking in the mirror — putting on her lipstick with the other.

Three cheers for the Georgia legislature and Governor Sonny Perdue who signed two new laws yesterday that target dangerous driving habits; known to contribute to traffic fatalities.

Effective July 1st, Georgia drivers won’t be allowed to text while driving and teens will be prohibited from using their cell phones while behind the wheel.

A violation of the new laws in Georgia leads to a $150 fine and one point on the violator’s driver’s license.

What a great law — we need it here. But, Perdue reportedly signed it with some reluctance. Apparently, the governor wants to exempt adults from the texting restriction.

I have a simple question …. Why?

You are as great a risk to yourself and others when you are distracted, chatting or texting on your cell phone, whether you are 18 or 21. What difference does it make? Do we allow drivers not to wear their seatbelts — just because they are adults?

In one report, Perdue was quoted saying that he is concerned that the current language “could lead to more drivers being charged with vehicular homicide” and the new law would put too much of a burden on police to enforce.

I say hogwash! Cell phone use — talking or texting — is contributing to annoying and unsafe driving. Let’s do something to improve our driving conditions. How about we just act like adults and leave our cell phone in our pocket or just turn it off while we’re operating a motor vehicle?

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