Distracted Driving and Other Road Laws We Often BreakWritten on February 23, 2015
There are certain rules of the road that are self explanatory. For instance, you should always come to a complete stop at red lights and stop signs. Every driver knows that. There are a number of other Georgia traffic laws that many drivers aren’t aware of which, if broken, are likely to result in a conversation with the police.
The best way to avoid getting a traffic ticket is to not get pulled over in the first place. This will also help you avoid having law enforcement officers ask to search your vehicle or run your name for outstanding warrants.
There are some traffic laws that are very tempting to break. Have you ever approached a traffic light to make a turn only to discover a long line of cars waiting to go straight through the light? It may seem like a good and convenient idea to jump into the turn lane a little early and bypass all those stopped cars to make your turn. Just be careful of how many cars you pass. Drivers in Georgia aren’t allowed to travel more than 300 feet in a central turn lane before actually making a turn. If you do, you just might see flashing blue lights in your rear-view mirror.
Several weeks ago, a man driving in Cobb County was given a citation for eating a hamburger while driving. This is something just about all of us have done. The ticket was for distracted driving. It remains to be seen whether that ticket will stand up in court, but you do need to be mindful of what you are doing behind the wheel.
When most people hear “distracted driving” they think of texting while driving. There are actually two different laws that cover drivers doing something other than driving while behind the wheel. The first, which the hamburger eating ticket would fall into, is using due care while driving. The code section states: A driver shall exercise due care in operating a motor vehicle on the highways of this state and shall not engage in any actions which shall distract such driver from the safe operation of such vehicle.” The next time you are on the streets and highways in Metro Atlanta or Cobb County, take a look at all the things people do when they drive. Chances are, you will see a number of distracted drivers.
There is another section of the law that specifically covers cell phones and other electronic devices. It’s important to remember that it’s not just texting. An officer can pull you over for doing anything with your phone besides talking. The code section says: Writing, sending or reading text based communication while operating a motor vehicle. You can get pulled over if a police officer sees you checking Facebook, reading emails or scrolling through appointments on your phone. You can be pulled over for looking at your phone while stopped at a light or stop sign. The code section says “operating” a motor vehicle. If your car is in gear, even if you are stopped, you are operating the vehicle.
If you have received a ticket you have questions about, or what to fight in court, it’s a wise idea to have an attorney on your side. The attorneys at The Silverbach Group are here to help. We are available to answer questions and assist with your case. You can reach us at (770) 635-0334.