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Texting ban for drivers, other laws in effect July 1

June 29, 2010

Extracted from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution

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Starting Thursday, Georgians’ lives will change in large and small ways, thanks to the state Legislature. Although bills can become law at other times, July 1 is the big day for new laws to take effect.

It’s more than just the restrictions on cell phone use behind the wheel (SB 360, HB 23). Schools will be banned from using state tax dollars for school administrator raises if teachers are furloughed (HB 977). Citizens should have easier Internet access to budgets and audits from local governments that have budgets over $1 million, through the Carl Vinson Institute (HB 122). And the state patrol may phase out its remaining trooper cars with distinctive two-tone paint, in favor of monotone (HB 981).

The troopers may or may not be less noticeable — they’ll still be marked and have their lights up top — but the point is it’s cheaper, says the patrol.

And of course, texting behind the wheel will be illegal for everybody and cell phone use will be banned for under-18 drivers with provisional licenses. Those teenagers, however, can make a call if it’s to report an emergency.

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