State Rep. Allen Peake will push for a complete ban on texting while driving in Georgia, he said Monday on the first day of the 2010 legislative session.
The legislation probably will be meshed with last year’s attempt to ban the practice for teenage drivers, but this version would apply to adults as well, Peake said. That teenage ban, in House Bill 23, passed the Georgia House of Representatives last year and is pending in the state Senate.
Peake said AAA is supporting the bill, but it will take time to see whether it will work its way through the Legislature. New Speaker of the House David Ralston said Monday he hasn’t yet seen the bill and couldn’t comment on it.
Peake said he became interested in the issue after someone contacted him to complain about his own texting-while-driving habit. As a state legislator, Peake’s license plate bears his district number.
He said a man looked him up and e-mailed him, complaining that Peake had passed him on Interstate 16, banging away at the keypad on his cell phone.
“He said I was a terrible example,” Peake said. “He was right.”
Georgia already has a law against distracted driving, but Peake said a specific ban on texting would work as a deterrent for the practice.
Texting while driving has already been banned in 19 states and the District of Columbia. Seven states, and Washington D.C., also have banned talking on a cell phone while driving.