Lawmaker calls for ban on handheld devices while driving - CBS46 News

Lawmaker calls for ban on handheld devices while driving

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A metro Atlanta lawmaker wants to draw up legislation that bans handheld devices while driving.

"These things are dangerous," said Fulton County Commissioner Robb Pitts as he held up his cellphone. "I don't use them but when I do pick mine up, I'm always a split second from having an accident myself."

Pitts said Georgia's current law that bans texting while driving is not tough enough.

He said it is difficult for police to enforce and pointed out that police in Fulton County have only handed out three citations since the law was passed.

"I'm ashamed to say that I wish there was some way to make me not use the phone in the car," said Cathy Ianotti, who admitted talking on the phone while driving is a habit for her.

Pitts said he has researched laws in other states and believes banning handheld devices would improve safety on the road.

"Their hearts and heads were in the right place," said Pitts of the lawmakers who drew up the bill that passed in 2010. "They thought that would work but the enforcement of it is what's proved to be the problem."

While drivers admit cellphones do distract while driving, some are skeptical a tougher law will be effective.

"I don't know if you can solve it with laws because next we'll need to make driving while eating illegal," said Brent Harris. "Where do we really stop? I don't think it makes sense."

"Everyone's busy," said Frank Ianotti. "Everyone's pressured to do a lot more at work. They're trying to stay in constant communication. So as tough as the law is, I still think people will push the envelope."

Pitts plans to bring up the issue at an upcoming commission meeting. He told CBS Atlanta he is also working with state lawmakers to draw up cellphone legislation in the upcoming session.

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