Health, News

Atlanta’s Medical Community To Push For Federal Distracted Driving Law

The Medical Association of Atlanta says it is sending representatives to meetings with the American Medical Association and having conversations with the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to make the case for a federal hands-free law.
The Medical Association of Atlanta says it is sending representatives to meetings with the American Medical Association and having conversations with the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to make the case for a federal hands-free law.
Credit Damian Dovargane / Associated Press file

Studies indicate Georgia’s distracted driving law is working, nearly a year after it first took effect. With the one year mark approaching, those in Atlanta’s medical community are pushing for a national distracted driving law.

The Medical Association of Atlanta says it is sending representatives to meetings with the American Medical Association and having conversations with the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to make the case for a federal hands-free law.

Dr. Martha Wilbur, president of the Medical Association of Atlanta, says that’s one part of the strategy.  The other involves addressing the social norms that have made using a cellphone while behind the wheel acceptable.

“If you think about seat belt legislation and other laws like that, you know it takes time for people to accept that [using the phone while driving] is not the right thing to be doing,” she said. “They need to change their own behavior.”

Wilbur says while that behavior shift is happening, there are still too many drivers who ignore Georgia’s hands-free law.

There’s no timeline for the campaign, but Wilbur admits something of this magnitude will likely take some time.

Editor’s note: The name of the Medical Association of Atlanta has been corrected