STATESBORO, Ga. (WTOC) -Statesboro residents may have seen deputies, police, and state troopers stopping plenty of drivers on the roadside on Tuesday morning. It was one of their regular sweeps for distracted driving.
You’d only have to sit at this intersection a few minutes before you saw a driver or two using their phone. Troopers and others in law enforcement say they’re still trying to drive home the message that distracted driving can get you or someone else killed.
“We’re constantly working these crashes with people rear-ending, people merging on top of each other single vehicle crashes where people go off the road for no apparent reason,” said Sergeant Chris Rodewolt with Georgia State Patrol.
Officers say that some drivers simply try to hide the phone instead of following the hands-free law.
“They’re holding it in their lap or holding on their leg while they’re talking,” said Sgt. Jody Deal with the Bulloch County Sheriff’s Office.
Officers say that they aren’t easing up on penalties for distracted driving. Gerogia’s hands-free law went into affect in the summer of 2018, giving drivers plenty of enough time to find something that will hold their phone.
“You can go on Amazon and order all these little attachments for the phone to stick to, with double sided velcro or little arms,” said Lt. Anthony Gore, a Statesboro Police Officer. “You can put them anywhere in your vehicle, except in your hands.”
The traffic stop on Tuesday morning may have saved a driver’s life. A Georgia State Trooper stopped one young lady that collapsed shortly after. A medical crew was able to treat her. Thankfully, she wasn’t behind the wheel when it happened. This was the first medical emergency crash that they’ve managed to prevent, but troopers report finding everything from drugs to wanted suspects during distracted driver roadchecks.
They say that they hope to see the number of drivers spotted and stopped drop by the end of the month.
Georgia State Patrol also released a breakdown of traffic citations issued during the long Memorial Day Holiday weekend. Over 5,000 drivers were stopped for speeding and nearly 400 were arrested for DUI. 14 were cited for sending a text message, and six for watching a video or movie.