LAGRANGE, GA (WTVM) - The LaGrange Police Department saw a reduction in vehicle collisions and injuries in 2018 as a result of the Hands-Free Distracted Driving Law.
The law went into effect July 1, 2018. The police department is reporting a seven percent reduction in collisions and 15 percent reduction in injuries in 2018, compared to 2017.
The hands-free law requires citizens to use hands-free technology when using electronic devices while driving.
The law prohibits the following:
- Holding or supporting a phone or device while driving
- Using a hand held phone or device to write, send, or read texts, message, emails while driving
- Watching a video on your phone or device while driving
- Recording a video on your phone or device while driving
In 2017, the LaGrange Police Department investigated 2,446 vehicle accidents with 445 of those involving injuries. One fatality was also the result of one of the collisions. In 2018, there were 2,290 collisions with 377 injuries. Two fatalities were reported in 2017, but involved an individual on a bicycle and an individual unlawfully operating a dirt bike who disregarded a stop sign.
“A major revision to the Hands-Free Distracted Driving Law has made it possible for our officers to more aggressively address the issue of distracted driving,” said LPD Lt. Mark Kostial. “Clearly the ability to identify and stop distracted drivers is a huge tool for law enforcement and as a result we are seeing a reduction in collisions and injuries on our roadways.”
In 2018, 99 distracted driving citations were issued.