Should Georgia raise fines for distracted driving?

Georgia lawmakers may raise fines for distracted driving. JASON GETZ / JGETZ@AJC.COM
Georgia lawmakers may raise fines for distracted driving. JASON GETZ / JGETZ@AJC.COM

Credit: Jason Getz / AJC

Credit: Jason Getz / AJC

As The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported last week, Georgia lawmakers are considering a bill that would raise the fine for distracted driving violations.

A 2018 law prohibits motorists from handling their cell phones or other wireless devices while driving. Currently, the fine for a first offense is $50. Under House Bill 113, a first offense could cost up to $100, at a judge's discretion. Fines for a second offense would range from $100 to $200, and third offenses would cost $150 to $300.

The law would also eliminate a provision that requires judges to dismiss citations for first-time offenders if they bring a receipt showing they purchased a hands-free device – thus demonstrating a willingness to comply with the law.

Supporters say higher fines are needed to curb distracted driving, which experts say leads to traffic fatalities and injuries. Opponents worry higher fines could be unaffordable for many residents.

You can read more about the issue here. And we'd like to know: Do you support higher fines for distracted driving in Georgia? Why or why not?

If you’re willing to be quoted in an upcoming article, contact reporter David Wickert at dwickert@ajc.com.

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