COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) – We all know texting and driving is illegal, but not many of us know the exact parameters of the law.
Sergeant Bill Gasaway with the Columbus Police Department's Motor Squad stopped by the morning show to talk about the issues of texting and driving as a part of Distracted Driving Awareness Month.
In Georgia, no person who is 18 years of age or older or who has a Class C license shall operate a motor vehicle while using a wireless telecommunications device to write, send, or read any text based communication.
The term "operating a motor vehicle" also includes if stopped at a red light or in traffic. A person under the age of 18 are prohibited from using any device even talking on cell phone while driving.
The citation for texting and driving is any conviction for a violation of the provisions of the law will be charged with a misdemeanor and pay a $150 and 1 point on your driver's license.
Even using GPS and map applications on your phone is considered distracted driving.
Distracted driving is very serious: An average text takes a driver's eyes off the road for 5 seconds. Driving 40 mph while texting is equal to 59 feet per second, and at 5 seconds is 295 feet; equivalent to length of a football field.
In Columbus there have been at least three fatal accidents where distracted driving possible texting were the contributing factor, but there have been several accidents that were not fatal that this is a contributing factor.