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GHSA Takes Tough Positions on Distracted and Drugged Driving

The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) recently adopted expansions of its policies related to distracted driving and drugged driving.These are 2 factors that are cited in thousands of fatal and injury-causing car accidents that occur in the metro Atlanta region every year. We have continued to see an increase in drunk driving accidents in our office, and believe a tougher stand on this problem is necessary to protect Atlanta drivers and passengers.

The GHSA is calling for a complete ban on the use of handheld cell phones while driving across all states.Just a few states have complete bans on hand-held cell phones while driving, while more than 35 states, including Georgia, have banned texting while driving.

The Governors Highway Safety Association earlier supported only bans on text messaging while driving, and bans on the use of electronic devices by both novice drivers as well as school bus drivers.This is the first time that the GHSA has voiced its complete support for bans on handheld cell phone.

The Governors Highway Safety Association is using the example of states like California and New York that have enacted bans against the use of hand-held cell phones while driving, to prove its point.According to the agency, in these states there has been a decline in the number of motorists who feel free enough to drive a car while using a hand-held cell phone.

Using a hand-held cell phone can take one of your hands away from the steering wheel, not to mention taking your eyes away from the road, when you dial a number on the cell phone.These are highly distracting behaviors, and contribute to accidents.

The Governors Highway Safety Association at its recent meeting also changed its policy regarding drugged driving.The agency now supports zero-tolerance laws against driving under the influence of drugs.Under these laws, which are currently in place at in at least 17 states, persons who are driving under the influence of narcotic drugs can be charged with intoxicated driving solely for having intoxicants in their system.

The GHSA is also calling on all states to adopt stricter penalty systems for impaired driving.These penalties should be issued against motorists for driving under the influence of multiple drugs or a combination of drugs, not including alcohol.

The Governors Highway Safety Association is citing statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to make its point against drugged driving.According to data from the 2007 Random Roadside Survey, approximately 16.3% of drivers who were traveling at night tested positive for the presence of intoxicant drugs in their system.

Driving under the influence is typically taken to mean driving under the influence of alcohol.However, the reality is that thousands of driving fatalities every year can be traced to people under the influence of marijuana and other narcotics.