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Tuesday, June 29, 2010 - 12:37pm

Text While Driving Ban Starts Thursday

State Patrol officers are gearing-up to enforce the new law that bans texting while driving. It goes into effect Thursday.

The law prohibits texting behind the wheel by drivers of all ages. And drivers 18 or younger are banned from using a phone for any use while driving.

Major Mark McDonough, Commanding Officer of the Georgia State Patrol, says officers the last several weeks have been briefed on what to look for in enforcing the new law.

“Is it going to be easy? No. It’s going to take some time to observe and build the case of whether the person’s in violation of the law or not.”

McDonough says one of the first challenges for officers is determining the age of a driver.

“Just the act of texting and dialing, he’s going to have to make a determination whether that person does look like they’re younger or not...under the age of 18. If he’s wrong, he’s going to have to let the person go. Those are the things the trooper will have to observe."

McDonough says educating drivers on the new law is the initial focus. There will be a one month grace period before tickets are handed out.

Also going into effect Thursday—the law requiring pickup truck drivers to wear seatbelts.

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