Moultrie Observer

Local News

June 30, 2010

New ‘text’ law in effect

Law enforcement: No grace period will be given

MOULTRIE —   Drivers beware. If you text while driving on July 1 and thereafter, you could be arrested under a new Georgia law.

Local law enforcement feels this rule will really be helpful to them.

Moultrie Police Chief Frank Lang said the law prohibits a driver from texting while a vehicle is in motion — or while it is stopped at a red light or at a stop sign.

Lang said the Moultrie Police Department is excited about having the new law in place because it will give law enforcement more teeth against distracted drivers. Sending a text message while driving can be just as dangerous as driving while intoxicated, if not worse.

“When a driver is under the influence,” Lang said, “it is a chemical imbalance. When a driver is texting, it shows a total disregard for safety.”

The new law will allow officers to subpoena a driver’s phone records to see what activity was going on at the time of an accident, Lang said. Currently, it is difficult to tell how many accidents in Moultrie are caused by people texting, but officers will now be able to investigate and determine if a driver’s texting contributed to an accident.

What makes the law unique is that phone records give a variety of information to officers, Lang said. It can tell how long a driver was on the phone and when, including if it was when an accident or traffic stop took place. Text messages sent or received show up also, whether they have been deleted from a cell phone or not.

“It tells on them every time,” Lang said. “Just because (a message) was deleted does not mean it was deleted from the memory.”

Lang said the law will allow officers to check phone records to see if a driver was texting when they are pulled over. If a driver tells the officer they were not and records show they were, the driver could be charged with both texting while driving and giving false information to an officer.

“It creates additional problems by being dishonest,” Lang said. “One thing always leads to something else.”

Lang said he was very excited to see the law put into place, and that it was long overdue. He warns drivers that there will be no grace period given by officers once the law goes into effect, and he warns drivers to pay attention to the road instead of sending a text message.

“When you text while driving,” Lang said, “you put your own life in danger as well as others.”

In addition to the texting law, a law banning cell phone use of any kind for teenage drivers will also go into effect on July 1. Violators of either law will face a $150 fine and have one point put on their license.

With the laws, Georgia joins several Southeast states with laws in place prohibiting certain cell phone use while driving. Currently, Florida and South Carolina are the only two Southeast states with no cell phone limits of any kind.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • County hires Cannon

    April 22, 2014

  • Woman: Man retaliated over drug issue

    April 22, 2014

  • Your Agenda 4/23

    April 22, 2014

  • 0422 Chambliss7.jpg 4-H honors Chambliss as Champion of Kids

    The National 4-H Council recognized Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., with the 4-H Champion for Kids Award recently during a 4-H Congressional Breakfast on Capitol Hill. Chambliss received the award in honor of his work advancing 4-H youth development in Georgia.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Georgia releases 2 years of school scores

    New data on Georgia’s schools suggests the state’s elementary and middle schools have improved during the last two years. But high schools haven’t made the same gains statewide.

    April 21, 2014

  • NAMIWalks information session next week

    The Moultrie chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness will hold an information meeting Tuesday, April 29, to get ready for this year’s NAMIWalks.

    April 21, 2014

  • Handel, Karen.jpg Handel relies on past successes as she runs for Senate

    Eleven people want to be Georgia’s next U.S. Senator. Karen Handel, who visited Moultrie recently, is one of seven Republicans in the race, which voters will cast ballots on May 20. How does one stand out in such a crowded field?
    Handel is focusing on her prior successes on the Fulton County Commission and as Georgia’s secretary of state.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Woman suspects guests when electronics disappear

    A Moultrie woman who has had electronics stolen on two recent occasions when she had neighbors over may want to find different dinner guests.

    April 21, 2014

  • 0422 Relay for Life.jpg Relay for Life set for Friday

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Health officials to focus on disaster readiness

    On April 30, Southwest Health District’s Office of All Hazards Preparedness will join other disaster preparedness, response and recovery teams throughout the nation to raise community awareness about the importance of individuals and organizations taking simple, specific steps to increase their preparedness for potential emergencies.

    April 21, 2014

Business Marquee
AP Video
U.S. Paratroopers in Poland, Amid Ukraine Crisis US Reviews Clemency for Certain Inmates Raw: Violence Erupts in Rio Near Olympic Venue Raw: Deadly Bombing in Egypt Raw: What's Inside a Commercial Jet Wheel Well Raw: Obama Arrives in Japan for State Visit Raw: Anti-Obama Activists Fight Manila Police Motels Near Disney Fighting Homeless Problem Michigan Man Sees Thanks to 'bionic Eye' Obama to Oso: We'll Be Here As Long As It Takes Bon Jovi Helps Open Low-income Housing in Philly S.C. Man Apologizes for Naked Walk in Wal-Mart New Country Music Hall of Fame Inductees Named 'Piles' of Bodies in South Sudan Slaughter SCOTUS Hears Tv-over-Internet Case Chief Mate: Crew Told to Escape After Passengers
House Ads
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
More
weatherradar
Seasonal Content
Poll

Should abortion be legal for victims of rape?

No. That baby is alive, no matter how horrible its manner of conception.
Yes. It's wrong to force a woman to carry the child of her rapist.
Abortion is a private matter and should be legal for everyone.
     View Results