It’s a traffic citation that’s a little hard for some drivers to swallow: A driver in Georgia was ticketed for eating fast food while driving in the fast lane.
According to WSB-TV in Atlanta, the officer observed the driver eating a burger for two miles on Canton Road in Marietta. After being pulled over, the officer cited distracted driving laws as the reason for the ticket.
Georgia law states: ‘a driver shall exercise due care in operating a motor vehicle on highways of this state and shall not engage in any actions which shall distract such driver from the safe operation of such vehicle.’
In an effort to improve safety on the open road, Georgia has also initiated:
- A state ban on all cell phone use (handheld and hands-free) for bus drivers
- A state ban on all cell phone use (handheld and hands-free) for novice drivers
- A state ban on texting for all drivers
The driver feels the ticket is unwarranted since his actions did not cause an accident, and he says he plans to ‘fight for his rights’ when he heads to court next month. However, the incident has refueled the conversation surrounding distracted driving.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), ten percent of all drivers under age 20 involved in fatal crashes were reported as distracted at the time of the crash. This age group has the largest proportion of drivers who were distracted.
Distracted driving is unsafe, irresponsible and comes in all forms. It is defined as any time you take your eyes off the road, your hands off the wheel, and your mind off your primary task: driving safely. When you’re distracted you miss stop signs, speed creeps up and you can easily drift to the other side of the road. As statistics show, all it takes is a split second for tragedy to strike.
Even still, people have been caught applying makeup, changing clothes, shaving, even reading newspapers while behind the wheel.