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GA Agencies Support Distracted Driver Awareness Month

4/8/2014

GA Agencies Support Distracted Driver Awareness Month

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ATLANTA--Thousands of Department of Driver Services (DDS) customers are seeing a crucial message about the danger of texting and driving this month as they visit driver’s licensing and testing centers statewide.  DDS Commissioner Rob Mikell, Georgia Office of Highway Safety (GOHS) Director Harris Blackwood and Colonel Mark McDonough, Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Safety (DPS) have partnered to display messages on center television screens in support of Distracted Driver Awareness Month.

The National Safety Council (NSC) promotes Distracted Driver Awareness Month to focus on the dangers of texting and driving and to ultimately reduce the number of crashes and lost lives.  It is estimated that almost 25 percent of car crashes involve cell phone use.  The agencies partnered to have this important message displayed on the Motor Vehicle Network (MVN) screens installed at 29 DDS’ locations throughout the state.  MVN provides customized information and entertainment to customers waiting to be served at no cost to the state.

“Not only can you damage your driving history with additional fines and points, but you may lose your life.” said Commissioner Mikell.   “I hope DDS customers will take this important message to heart and avoid any distractions while driving.”

Colonel Mark W. McDonough reminds drivers to plan trips carefully to minimize distractions on the road.  “Anything that diverts your attention from your driving can lead to a traffic crash,” he said.  “Be alert while you travel.”

 “Drivers engaged in cell phone conversations are cognitively distracted and can fail to see up to 50 percent of their driving environment including stop signs, pedestrians and red lights,” said Director Blackwood, GOHS.

Distracted driving is a particular concern for Georgia’s newest drivers, and since July 1, 2010 legislation prohibits texting and all other cell phone use by drivers under the age of 18.  A separate distracted driving law prohibits any age driver from texting while operating a vehicle in Georgia.

Texting and Driving Data To Date

O.C.G.A. 40-6-241.1 (Unlawful use of wireless device Under Age 18)            265 convictions

O.C.G.A. 40-6-241.2 (Operating a vehicle while text messaging)                  4,360 convictions

 

For more information, please visit the DDS website at www.dds.ga.gov, GOHS at

http://www.gahighwaysafety.org/highway-safety/texting-laws/ and the NSC at http://www.nsc.org/safety_road/Distracted_Driving/Pages/DDAM.aspx

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