State considers ban on hand-held devices while driving - CBS46 News

State considers ban on hand-held devices while driving

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Source: WGCL Source: WGCL

Georgia is one of the only states in the U.S. that doesn't have a law banning hand-held devices while driving but legislators are considering making a change.

As it stands, if you get a distracted driving citation, you get a $150 fine and police say it's hard to enforce. 

Several state residents, including Kathy Clark, want the penalties increased. Clark says she misses her daughter Emily every day. She was killed in a crash involving a distracted driver in April of 2015.

It never gets easy," says Clark. "A tractor trailer hit them at almost 70 mph with a full load and never hit his brakes, never slowed down."

Emily was one of five Georgia Southern University nursing students that were killed in the crash outside Savannah. Two other students survived.

On the other side of the coin is Molly Welch. Welch was the distracted driver when she crossed the median and smashed into a pickup truck, changing her life forever.

"I was messing around with my recorder," said Welch. "I went across the median and crashed head-on in the pickup. It's hard and everything is challenging because I don't have any function in my right arm and limited function in my leg."

Both Welch and Clark are trying to get the laws in Georgia changed. 

According to the Governor's Office of Highway Safety, in Georgia, there were 2,041 fatal crashes in the state in 2015. Of those, 72 were as a result of distracted driving. That's the highest rate since 2011.

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