GOHS Cracking Down on Distracted Driving This Month

The Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, Georgia State Patrol, and local law enforcement agencies are asking drivers to go “Hands-Free for Safety” or risk being handed a ticket for violating Georgia’s hands-free law.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has designated April as National Distracted Driving Awareness Month with April 8th designated as the “Connect2Disconnect’ national enforcement day.

GOHS and its 16 regional traffic enforcement networks will be conducting distracted driving enforcement operations throughout Georgia during the entire month, with the goal to save lives and reduce crashes.

“Georgia’s hands-free law is saving lives, but we still see too many drivers with a phone in their hand when they are on the road,” Governor’s Office of Highway Safety Director Allen Poole said. “For those who are pulled over for having a phone in their hand, do not ask for a warning because this is your warning to park your phone when you are driving.”

Even though overall traffic fatalities in the United States dropped from to 2018 to 2019, distraction-related fatalities increased by ten percent from 2018 to 2019.

Mark Jenkins, spokesman, AAA – The Auto Club Group says any distraction, whether it be texting or talking to a passenger, could be enough to cause a crash.

“Distracted driving remains a growing traffic safety problem nationwide,” said Jenkins. “Any distraction, whether it be texting or talking to a passenger, could be enough to cause a crash. AAA strongly urges drivers to focus on what’s most important, the road in front of them.”

AAA offers some tips to avoid distracted driving:

Place your mobile device out of sight to prevent temptation.

Use a navigation system when heading somewhere unfamiliar and if you get lost, pull over to call or text someone.

If you’re a passenger, don’t be a distraction to your driver and if you see the driver is getting distracted, speak out.

Activate Do Not Disturb. Setting up this feature on iPhone or Android device will prevent calls from coming in while you’re driving.