In Georgia, it’s illegal to text and drive. And if you’re a bus driver – or under the age of 18 – it’s illegal to use a cellphone at all while you’re driving.
Nationwide, there are more than a dozen states that ban the use of hand-held cellphones while driving.
Democratic Representative Rahn Mayo of Decatur wants to take that a step further. He’s the sponsor of a new bill in the state legislature banning all drivers from using anything except hands-free cellphones.
“In recent years there have been countless injuries and fatalities caused by distracted drivers,” Mayo says. “The USDOT estimates that drivers holding cellphones are four times more likely to cause serious accidents.”
A similar bill sponsored by Mayo in 2011 didn’t move far.
The state chapter of the National Safety Council says banning handheld cellphones is not enough. Even using hands-free cellphones while driving is risky behavior. The group says more than 20 percent of all crashes occur while drivers are talking on their cellphones.