SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - If you suffer from FOMO - or 'fear of missing out' - or if you experience excessive separation anxiety when you're unable to constantly check your cell phone, especially when you're driving, then you'd better sign up for some emersion therapy in a hurry.
Last week, surrounded by the families of the five Georgia Southern nursing students killed in an accident three years ago, largely blamed on a distracted truck driver, Governor Nathan Deal signed a bill making Georgia only the sixteenth hands-free driving state in our country.
Come July 1 when the new law takes effect, holding your phone to make calls, text, write or read emails, even while sitting at a red light, will be prohibited. If you're caught, you will get a ticket with fines starting at $50 and going up to $150. You will also receive points against your license.
Consider This: the number of deadly accidents on our roadways, especially in Georgia, have been rapidly increasing year after year, and it's not coincidental that the use of electronics in our cars has also been on the rise.
A distracted driver is as great a threat to us as someone driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. What amazes me most is not that Georgia has decided to ban the practice, but that more states aren't following suit - and yes - I'm talking to you, South Carolina.
Now, the challenge is going to be enforcing this new law. It won't be easy, but it will be worthwhile as lives are at stake, which brings a slight amount of comfort to the five grieving families that stood behind Governor Deal as he signed the bill last week.