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Police talk one year after driving without phones became law in Georgia

Posted at 6:28 PM, Jun 28, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-28 18:28:31-04

(WTXL) — Texting behind the wheel will soon cost you in Florida.

While the law is just now going into effect in Florida next week, for drivers in Georgia it's been a reality for nearly a year.

While the law has been a big adjustment for drivers, officers have been there every step of the way, making sure they follow the law.

"Our enforcement of this law is strictly for safety," said Major Wade Glover with the Thomasville Police Department. "It's a major, major issue throughout the United States, not only in Thomasville, but we are going to do our part and enforce it as much as possible."

For officers in Georgia, enforcing the texting while driving ban meant hitting the streets with fliers and videos. All to make sure there were not any issues down the road, once the law went into effect last July.

The Thomasville Police Department started initiatives like Operation Safe Driver, where officers dressed in street clothes, stood at different intersections and reported which drivers were on their phones while stopped. Many of those people were later pulled over by a nearby officer.

"Over the eight hour period, we wrote close to 250 citations," said Major Glover. "With that said, there was probably another 4 or 500 that we didn't have the time or the staffing to make the traffic stops on them."

While drivers caught breaking the law will have to pay up $50, Major Glover says the costs down the line are so much greater.

"It can also affect your insurance rate as well if you get too many citations or points like that," said Major Glover. "People need to take in to account for that and consider before you text and drive. And nobody, nobody can hold their phone, no matter what age."

The World Health Organization says that drivers who use their cell phones are four times more likely to be involved in a crash than those who don't.