Published on:

Proposed Georgia legislation to crack down on texting while driving

In the Georgia legislature, two proposed bills would crack down on texting while driving. Both have been sent to a study committee.

HB 938 would prohibit the use of wireless telecommunications devices for sending or reading text messages while operating a motor vehicle. A conviction would be punishable by a fine of not less than $50.00 nor more than $100.00. In addition, two points would be assessed to violators of this provision. The bill provides exceptions for engaging in a wireless communication using a wireless telecommunications device in emergency situations.

This bill would amend Code Section 40-5-57.4 by requiring the driver’s license of any operator of a motor vehicle, who is determined to be at fault for causing an automobile accident while texting, be suspended. A first suspension shall be for a period of 90 days. A second or subsequent suspension shall be for a period of six months. The suspension will terminate after the suspension period and when the person pays a restoration fee of $60.00 or, $50.00 when processed by mail.

HB 944 would prohibit a person from writing, sending, or reading a text-based communication on a wireless telecommunications device while operating a motor vehicle. It provides for exceptions in emergency situations. Any conviction for a violation would be a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not more than $300.00.

Ken Shigley is a trucking safety trial attorney representing seriously injured people and families of people killed in tractor trailer, big rig, semi, intermodal container freight, log truck, cement truck, dump truck, log truck and bus accidents statewide in Georgia.

Mr. Shigley has extensive experience representing parties in interstate trucking collision cases, and in the past two years has spoken at national interstate trucking litigation seminars in Chicago (trucking insurance), New Orleans (trial tactics and side underride issues), St. Louis (punitive damages), San Francisco (dealing with insolvent trucking companies), Atlanta (trucking insurance, closing argument), Nashville (use of Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations), and Amelia Island (overview of trucking litigation).

He served as chair of the Southeastern Motor Carrier Litigation Institute in 2005, is a national board member of the Interstate Trucking Litigation Group of the American Association for Justice, and is on the National Advisory Board for the Association of Interstate Trucking Lawyers of America.

A Certified Civil Trial Advocate of the National Board of Trial Advocacy, he has been listed as a “Super Lawyer” (Atlanta Magazine), among the “Legal Elite” (Georgia Trend Magazine), and in the Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers (Martindale). In addition to trucking litigation, he has broad experience in products liability, catastrophic personal injury, wrongful death, spinal cord injury, brain injury and burn injury cases. Currently he is Treasurer of the 41,000 member State Bar of Georgiam and the unopposed nominee for President-Elect to serve as President in 2011-12.This post is subject to our ethical disclaimer.

Published on:
Updated:

One response to “Proposed Georgia legislation to crack down on texting while driving”

  1. Derek says:

    I think this law is a good thing- I personally have seen some aps for phones that will read your text messages for you. I’ve also read some reports that driving and texting is practically the same as drunk driving. If one of these text-drivers is a truck driver, then I pity the soul who is crushed by the drivers negligence. Truck drivers should be held even more accountable for this as well. Good stuff Thanks!