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Authorities: Texting While Driving Ban Tough to Enforce

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By Kamika Dunlap on June 21, 2010 6:55 AM

Authorities say the new texting while driving ban in Georgia will be difficult to enforce.

It will be up to police officers to observe violations by drivers and then explain exactly to the judge what they saw, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports.

The new law goes into effect on July 1, making it illegal to read, type, or send a text message while driving.

Many people drive with their phones sitting right in their lap so when it vibrates or beeps, some people will reply or at least read the incoming message. That alone presents a challenge to enforce the texting while driving ban.

As previously discussed, Georgia now joins the nearly 30 other states with laws banning texting while driving, according to the Governor's Highway Safety Association.

Georgia's law bans texting while driving and even while stopped at a red light. A violation will cost $150.

Under the new law, adults can use the keypad to dial a phone number. Young drivers with provisional licenses will be prohibited from all cell phone use while driving.

As previously discussed, Oprah Winfrey kicked off a national "No Phone Zone" campaign to help prevent distracted driving deaths.

Officials said that every year, about 6,000 people are killed and 500,000 injured because of distracted driving.

As previously discussed, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood stepped up his campaign against texting while driving and supports Oprah's new initiative. He said he favored rewarding states that banned texting while driving and would support legislation to deny federal funds to states that permit cell phone texting in cars.

In addition, as noted in Findlaw's Common Law blog, about 97 percent of Americans support a ban on texting while driving, according to a recent New York Times/CBS News poll.

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