Pope & Howard, PC

Texting and Driving: How Enforceable is it? Georgia’s New Ban In Effect Starting July 1, 2010

Are you texting while driving? Do you know others who text when they drive? As Atlanta personal injury attorneys, we’ve seen several cases where clients have lost their loved ones due to texting and reckless driving. After years of increasing automobile accidents due to texting, a texting ban will go into effective July 1, 2010. Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue signed the bill, which goes into effect this week.
The Caleb Sorohan Act, named for a Morgan County teen who died texting behind the wheel, can cost a driver $150 fine and a penalty of one point on his or her license.

In addition to the financial penalties, texting while driving can be the basis for a claim of negligence. “For years, we have argued to juries that texting while driving is negligent. Now we can tell them the law prohibits it too,” says trial lawyer Marc Howard of Pope & Howard.

Though this new law may be bring a great deal of relief to many motor vehicle drivers, there are many stipulations left to face. The bigger question is, how enforceable will this law be? This newly passed law faces an uncertain legal future. Many complain that an officer cannot fairly distinguish if a driver is simply looking at an incoming call or reading a text.

The governor thinks that making the act of looking at a phone screen illegal could lead to an increase in lawsuits as well. Some government officials are worried that trial lawyers might want to subpoena phone records and assign blame for every accident that happens.

Gov. Perdue urged lawmakers to come back and take a tough look at the law in the 2011 legislative session, with an analysis to revising the part about reading texts.

Texting bans, now in effect in various forms in 28 states, have drawn wide support from law enforcement, highway safety advocates and even the cell phone industry. But there are questions about how they work in practice

Many believe that Georgia’s law will travel up the legal ladder as attorneys defend against local cases, with some questions ultimately decided by the Georgia Supreme Court.

With years of experience as trial lawyers, Pope & Howard P.C.’s attorneys have a unique understanding of the legal, factual, and insurance issues behind each case in the auto accident field. Pope & Howard P.C. only accepts cases involving catastrophic injuries or death.

Contact the attorneys at Pope and Howard law firm if you or a loved one has suffered a severe injury or the death of a family member due to another’s negligence.

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