A Lilburn teenager was seriously injured in a single vehicle accident apparently caused because he was text messaging while driving. Nineteen-year-old Soheb Roy was text messaging his friend while driving his car, and crashed the vehicle into a telephone pole. He sustained serious injuries. The impact of the accident was strong enough to break the telephone pole into two. Police are likely to charge Roy with improper use of a cell phone while driving and failure to maintain lanes.
The accident is just one more reason why we need to have a new bill banning text messaging, passed as quickly possible. Last week, state republicans Allen Peake and Amos Amerson introduced bills that will ban text messaging behind the wheel for all motorists. Violations will come with fines and license penalties. The bill proposes fines of $50 and at least two license penalty points for violations.
Last year, one bill that would have banned texting while driving only for teen drivers, failed to pass. Whether this new bill will have better luck, remains to be seen. Georgia has failed to take the kind of serious steps necessary to prevent the 1.4 million crashes every year that are caused by having conversations on cell phones while driving, and 200,000 crashes that occur because of text messaging while driving.
Nationwide, there has been a strong momentum building up against cell phone use while driving, and Georgia has a golden opportunity to be a part of this change. Several states have legislations in varying stages in the works, all aimed at eliminating distractions behind the wheel to prevent accidents. A ban on text messaging is not a highly popular ban, given that so much of the population, especially teen motorists, is addicted to texting. A ban is necessary, however, if we are to prevent the kind of accident that occurred last week.