The start of July always ushers in new laws, and some new statutes on the books are long overdue.
With the holiday weekend upon us, a weekend in which we celebrate the independence that has made the United States the greatest of all nations, we implore the citizens of Effingham County to do so safely.
Legislators have had to balance the safety of those on the roads with our tradition of freedom. We think they’ve made the right choices, finally, in ensuring our roads are as safe as possible.
Beginning Thursday, texting while driving has become a punishable offense for Georgia drivers, and for teen drivers, they are prohibited from using a cell phone at all while behind the wheel. These measures are long overdue, given the proliferation of smart phones and cell phones and the proclivity of drivers to use them while driving. Hopefully, these new laws will cut down on the distractions on the road.
A law that has been in effect for a few weeks stipulates that drivers of pickup trucks must have their seatbelts in use and fastened. The long-standing exception for pickup drivers was abolished this year by the General Assembly; the only provision that allows for pickup drivers to operate their vehicle without having a seatbelt on is if they are actively engaged in the agricultural pursuits of their farm.
As we celebrate our freedom as a nation, we ask each of you, we urge each of you that if you are going to be out enjoying the liberty of driving to be mindful of the conditions and other drivers around you.
There’s no telling if any of these provisions would have saved any lives in the last few days. But some lives may have been spared had more care been exhibited on the road.
It’s already been a tragic week on the road for Effingham County. When the authorities ask you, “don’t become a statistic,” they mean it. And we don’t want to see the statistics climb any higher. The cost paid in lives lost in the last few days has already been far too high.