Governor deals new driving law


Katie Linkner

Taking effect July 1 is a new distracted driving law that will prohibit drivers from using their phone in all forms except for navigation. House of Representatives Josh Bonner was an integral part of writing this bill.

Sophia Bender, Staff Writer

Earlier this month, Governor Nathan Deal signed a new distracted driving law to be enacted on July 1 which will require drivers to use hands-free technology when using their phone. Drivers will no longer be able hold their phone while on a call or use their phone for anything other than navigation.

I believe that passing this law will help to make the roads safer and will also help to bring laws up to date with current technology.

— Rep. Josh Bonner

Josh Bonner, who represents District 72 in the Georgia House of Representatives, was an integral part of getting this bill passed and also voted to pass this law. When asked why he voted for this law he had several things to say. “I believe that passing this law will help to make the roads safer and will also help to bring laws up to date with current technology,” Bonner said.

With four kids of his own, he also felt that it would be important for young drivers especially. “Raising a generation of drivers that are mindful of [not talking on the phone while driving] will make for safer drivers in the future,” Bonner said.

This new law brings up several questions for older drivers or citizens that own older cars. How will citizens be able to uphold this law after generations of using the phone the same way? Not all cars have bluetooth built in, so will those people not be able to talk on the phone at all?

Bonner isn’t worried. He recommends that if bluetooth isn’t available, then an earpiece or putting the phone on speaker will suffice. Older drivers may also have some bad habits to alter but “[It’s] all in the name of safety,” Bonner said.

This new law also raises the question of how police officers will uphold the law, but Bonner is not worried about this either. While writing the bill, Bonner consulted several police officers in the district to see if they thought they would be able to uphold it. He even brought it to the police chief of Peachtree City to get her opinion.

Multiple attempts to contact Chief Moon on how local law enforcement will enforce the law went unanswered.

The Georgia State Patrol and the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety have announced a 90-day grace period allowing drivers to plan and adjust accordingly.