Texting while driving is now illegal in Georgia

By Brooke Kelley - bio | email

GARDEN CITY, GA (WTOC) - Texting while driving is now illegal in Georgia. If you get caught and it will cost you some of your hard earned cash. But just how will police enforce the new law? We road along with officers in Garden City and they give us a look at how police are pulling out all the stops to catch texters in the act.

Garden City Police Officer Terrence Zearing is one of many officers out on the streets looking for people texting behind the wheel.

"I think the main thing we are looking for is paying attention to a drivers hands while driving next to them or stopped at a stop light or which direction they are looking,"said Zearing.

Zearing says it's going to be difficult to enforce.

"We know there are going to be some situations they are gonna say they were making a phone call or receiving a phone call-but if it's more than a few second of using a phone or manipulating the electronic device that they have and that's when we need to initiate a stop and see what's gong on," said Zearing.

He says most likely the drivers who are texting are also violating other laws as well.

"Such as not being able to maintain your lane or maybe even running a stop sign," said Zearing.

Pooler Police Chief Butch Chan agrees.

Officers will really have to look for those who are disobeying the law.

"My personal view on it right now is that we are just gonna have to take a look at the texting law and cite those who are really obvious," said Chan.

But texting while driving isn't the only law going into effect. If teenagers under the age of 18 are talking on their cell phones, they can expect a hefty fine too.

"As soon as they get outta school the first thing they do is they jump on the phone talking and texting and that's how they ride the rest of the way home," said Zearing.

"One second one cross of the line and one not stopping in time you change somebody else's life forever," said Zearing.

So next time before you pick up your phone, think: your one message could cost one life.

Many police departments are giving warnings for the first month, but after that expect to pay a $150 fine.

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