What do you consider as distracted driving?

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While we live in East Alabama, a lot of us travel through Columbus for work and play, which means there is ample time for us to get ticketed for our driving skills.

Remember last year when the Columbus Police Department staged three stings to ticket distracted drivers? Remember the nearly $300 tickets everyone was talking about for texting, applying make-up, checking email? Well now, a Georgia law maker is attempting to introduce a bill that will change the law. Rep. John Pezold, a three-term Republican from Columbus, wants to modify the law. If the vehicle is stopped at a traffic light, the driver won’t get ticketed for distracted driving because he or she is not actively driving the vehicle. It’s stopped.

What are your thoughts about modifying the law? Should drivers be able to fully use cell phones when stopped at a red light? Or do you think any use of a cell phone is a distraction on the road? Are you in favor or opposed to legal, hands-free calling? Currently, there is not a hands-free ban in Alabama or Georgia, so motorists are legally able to tell cars to call someone.

According to the Alabama Department of Motor Vehicles, “There is no hand-held ban in Alabama, but only a texting ban for all drivers and a ban on cell phone use for novice drivers. This means that drivers are allowed to make and receive phone calls while behind the wheel. Alabama is among the states with the lowest fines for distracted driving.”

The University of Alabama did a study in January 2017 that showed the following: “Nationally, studies have concluded that 16 percent of fatal crashes are caused by some form of distracted driving. In Alabama, the number of reported cases in which distracted driving caused the crash increased by about 20 percent in 2016 over 2014, according to the analysis of crash statistics.”

What are your thoughts about modifying the current distracted driving law? Should law enforcement officials be able to ticket drivers when they’re stopped if they’re texting, applying make-up, eating, etc.?

By Denise DuBois, Executive Editor