Tougher laws are on the horizon for teen drivers in Atlanta according to AJC reporter Bob Keefe. According to Keefe, while the laws will filter down to the state level, the legislation is being pursued in Washington by highway safety advocates on Capitol Hill, who are pushing for passage of the Safe Teen and Novice Driver Uniform Protection or STANDUP ACT.
Under the Act, every state, including Georgia would be forced by federal legislation to prohibit teen drivers from texting or making cell phone calls while driving. While the law would not be mandatory on Georgia per se, failure to follow the Act, if passed, could result in a loss of Federal transportation funding for highways and other projects.
As Atlanta Personal Injury lawyers, we support this new legislation and other measures to help young Atlanta drivers be more attentive on the road. While Georgia already meets most of the Act’s proposed requirement, one glaring area in which it does not is the age which teen drivers can get permits: Under current Georgia law, teens can get a driving permit at age 15 and the new act would not let anyone under 16 obtain a learner’s permit.
Due to the inordinate number of serious car accidents involving teen drivers, the higher minimum age for a learner’s permit seems appropriate. Drivers as young as 15 years-old do not have the attention span and have not fully developed their cognitive skills, so the new law appears sound. We have handled many tragic cases that involve young drivers whose attention was diverted by something as simple as someone waiving to them or calling their name. Unfortunately, this momentary lapse in attention can lead to catastrophic results on the road when you are driving a 4,000 pound car at 60 miles per hour. Serious injury, and even death, are a real possibility under these circumstance. Not only is the victim of this negligence in a terrible position, but the teen driver who causes the wreck is often affected in the long-term by causing a tragedy.
Every driver on Georgia roads, no matter how old, must drive in a safe and reasonable manner so that they do not cause an accident or injury. This is a duty imposed by the Georgia legislator and enforced by the courts as a public policy in order ensure that our streets and sidewalks are safe.
Robert J. Fleming has been handling wrongful death cases, dental malpractice, bus accidents, car accident cases and premises injury cases for individuals and families who have been harmed, injured or died as a result of the carelessness or negligence of another for more than 20 years. He practices in and around the Atlanta area including handling lawsuits in Fulton, DeKalb, Clayton, Gwinnett, Cobb and other counties and nearby cities including Alpharetta, Austell, Avondale Estates, Chamblee, College Park, Conyers, Duluth, Decatur, Doraville, Hapeville, Johns Creek, Jonesboro, Lawrenceville, Norcross, Peachtree City, Riverdale, Roswell, Sandy Springs, Stone Mountain, and Smyrna. If you have been seriously injured in a car accident and would like quality legal representation, contact Robert J. Fleming directly on (404) 525-5150 or contact us online.
Sources: Bob Keefe, “Advocates push law to limit teen drivers.” Atlanta Journal-Constitution.