Smyrna plans Jan. 2 hearing on hands-free driving

The second public hearing for Smyrna’s proposed Hands-Free Ordinance will be held at 7 p.m. Jan. 2 by the Smyrna City Council.

This meeting will be in the Council Chambers, Smyrna City Hall, 2800 King St.

On Jan. 2, a decision may be made by the Council on whether to ban the use of handheld mobile phones and portable electronic devices while driving.

Councilman Derek Norton has proposed the change — an initiative also being promoted statewide by the Medical Association of Georgia of which Norton is the director of Government Relations.

Among the Georgia statistics noted by Norton are:

  • Even with the greatly under-reported fatal and serious injury collisions caused by distracted driving, from 2012 to 2015, Georgia has seen a 60 percent increase in the number of such incidents.
  • From 2009 to 2015, the number of serious injuries from traffic accidents in Georgia increased 55 percent.
  • Georgia's traffic fatalities rate is higher now than it was before the 2010 Georgia law that bans texting while driving.
  • In 2009, Georgia had 1,292 traffic fatalities compared to 1,561 traffic fatalities in 2016 which is outpacing the national average.
  • Of roadway fatalities in Georgia, 60 percent involve drivers failing to maintain their lanes.

Summary: with links to view issue sheet and documentation.