We’ve been under a new law here in Atlanta since the first of this month and so far I’ve been pretty impressed. Everyone but a few seem to be behaving. The law (or, set of laws) pertain to driving without the use of one’s cellphone. “Hands-free” is what everyone is calling it, although I don’t know if that’s the official name or not.
Basically, you can’t hold your phone for any reason while operating the vehicle and this includes your lap, shoulder and other capable body parts. You cannot record or watch videos. You must be legally parked (as I am at the moment) to hold your phone, not just sitting at a red light. In order to talk on the phone, you have to have an earpiece or other hands-free way of doing so. I’m not sure if speakerphone counts or not. I’ve yet to prepare for this and so I’m just letting it ring for now.
I have to say, I’ve been surprised by people! I pretty much thought I’d see them sneaking to check their phones while waiting at traffic lights but that has not been the case. Instead, I see boredom on their faces. I think car rides had become a time when, like doctors office waiting rooms, we caught up on things on our phones. Or, at the very least, we were able to look at something while waiting and it caused us to be a little less aware of the amount of time that was passing.
I admit I have been distracted at times by my phone, and not having it now (while driving) is helping reduce the amount of distractions I face. I must have been reaching for it quite a bit because I’m aware of the number of times I think about it, and how often I have to remind myself of the new law.
I have to say, I am glad for the new law(s) and I am sure they will keep us safer. People (including me) were distracted and distraction causes accidents.
Thanks, Georgia law-makers! You made an excellent decision. I don’t like it but we need it.