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Thursday, June 3, 2010 - 11:58am

Texting Bill In Limbo

A bill banning texting while driving in Georgia could still get the Governor’s veto. That’s because Sonny Perdue says he has concerns over enforceability of the measure.

The bill’s sponsor, Republican state Senator Jack Murphy of Cumming, says in most cases that wouldn’t be a problem. A perfect example he says would be his drive today running errands:

"I saw three people (on I-75) today texting while driving. Actually holding the steering wheel and texting. Now that’s pretty obvious.”

Murphy heads the Senate Public Safety Committee, and says any gray area over enforcement is small compared to the bill’s immediate impact.

“People are going to say ‘well, it’s against the law, so I’m not going to do it’. So if we can simply pick up that 40-percent of the people now driving and texting, that is a real, real home run for us.”

Jim Bruhn of AAA says enforceability is not a problem in other states with bans against texting while driving.

“There’s 26 other states out there that already have these laws and they’re being enforced in those states. So there’s no reason why Georgia law enforcement won’t be able to find that way as well.”

A spokesman for the Georgia State Patrol says its officers would be able to enforce a texting ban effectively.

Over the past week the Governor’s office has seen a flood of emails urging Perdue to not veto the bill. And this week, Perdue says he met with a handful of people on the issue:

“I shared my honest, candid thoughts over the pros and cons of the bill. They took that to mean I was totally against it. We haven’t made that determination yet, we are continuing to deliberate.”

Senator Murphy also met with Perdue this week, and says the Governor is carefully considering all aspects of the issue.

Perdue says he expects to decide by the end of the week which way he’ll go. The deadline for any bill to be vetoed is next Tuesday.

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