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Thursday October 29th, 2020 1:37AM

Weeklong crackdown on distracted driving to kick off Monday

By The Associated Press

ATLANTA (AP) — In an effort to get drivers to keep their eyes on the road while they're behind the wheel, law enforcement officers in Georgia plan to participate in a statewide crackdown on distracted driving.

State and local officers are joining a week-long nationwide enforcement effort that begins Oct. 5, according to a release from the Governor's Office of Highway Safety.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has designated October as Distracted Driving Awareness Month. The effort is usually observed in April but was postponed this year because of the coronavirus outbreak.

Cellphone use is one of the biggest distractions for drivers. But other distractions include talking to passengers, eating, fiddling with the radio and grooming.

“The hands-free law is saving lives on Georgia roads, and we can save even more lives with everyone putting down their phone when they are behind the wheel,” Governor’s Office of Highway Safety Director Allen Poole said. “As more people return to the road, it is important that all drivers are obeying the speed limit, wearing seat belts, driving sober and always driving alert.”

Distracted driving crashes killed 2,841 people and injured about 400,000 more in the U.S. in 2018, according to NHTSA.

“For those who will not put down their phone when they are driving, this is the only warning we are giving because those pulled over violating the hands-free law should expect to be handed a ticket,” Poole said. “Cell phones make our lives easier but no text, social media post or video is worth your life or the lives of others.”

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