Should Georgia add Text Stop Areas like New York State? - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Should Georgia add Text Stop Areas like New York State?


South Carolina is looking at a statewide texting ban, while Georgia already has one.

The question is, do people really put their phones down and stop texting? One state is trying to get ahead of the texting and driving and authorities wonder whether their initiative might work in our region.  

In New York State, you must be hands free. There is no holding your phone and talking and definitely no texting and driving.

However, enforcing texting and driving can be tough, so NYS created text stops and partnered with AT&T to start the "It Can Wait" campaign on New York highways, something Georgia State Patrol officers are impressed with.

"I think it's an ingenious idea. It makes people aware texting and driving is dangerous and gives you options now. Rather than you can't text and drive they are saying rest area or text area 5 miles ahead, be patient," Senior Trooper Andy Sinquefield, Georgia State Patrol, told WTOC. 

Could text stops work in Georgia?

"I think it's something that could work. It's just pushing legislature to provide areas like that," Sinquefield said.

Facebook response has been mixed with some saying it's a waste of tax payer money, with people saying “why not use existing rest areas and exits to get off and text?” Others are saying just put the phone down altogether or questioning whether the text areas would be used at all.  

On the other hand, many agree with Sinquefield and believe people are not going to stop texting and driving altogether, so providing an option to prevent unsafe driving may be worth a shot.

"When you give people a valid option, it makes sense. Educate them. This is what this is for. This text is this important and in five miles you have an area you can pull off the roadway safely and return those messages," Sinquefield said.

So far, the Georgia Department of Transportation tells WTOC there are no plans for text stop areas in Georgia. They already have no texting and driving electronic message boards around the state warning motorists to focus on the road and traffic around you.    

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