• Using your phone while driving? Heads up: Police are cracking down

    By: Chris Jose


    COBB COUNTY, Ga. - Think the Georgia hands-free law has faded away? Think again. 

    The law that bars people from holding phones while driving went into effect a year ago.

    Now, police in Cobb County are initiating a new crackdown that is meant to take distracted drivers by surprise. 

    Channel 2's Cobb County Bureau Chief  Chris Jose was in Marietta earlier this week as police dressed up as construction workers to catch people violating the hands-free law. 

    While Jose watched, 170 drivers were ticketed in just a few hours and three people were arrested. 

    Officers set up the sting Wednesday on Cobb Parkway and Roswell Road near the Big Chicken -- one of the busiest intersections in the county. 

    Marietta police officers worked with Cobb police and the Georgia State Patrol. One group pulled over cars; the other group was undercover. 


    Officers blended in with actual construction workers so drivers would be none the wiser. 

    Marietta police Officer Chuck McPhilamy said they got the message from a lot of drivers that they needed to crack down. 

    "It drives people crazy when they sit at a light, look at the light and realize they’re doing the right thing," McPhilamy said. "And they look left, look right, and the people surrounding them are all on their phones."

    Officers said they have seen an increase in crashes, the majority caused by distracted drivers 15 to 25 years old. 

    "The reality is, distracted driving causes more accidents than any other source," McPhilamy said. 

    Officers said some people were so focused on their phones they even ran red lights. 

    "They're either speaking on the phone, they're sending text messages, checking emails, on Facebook or on social media," said Wayne Delk, with Cobb County police. 

    Police hope this sting will serve as a warning to other drivers. 

    Dough Aho, who has lived in Marietta for 35 years, said he thinks the crackdown is good. 

    "It's the best thing that could have happened around here," Aho said. "These streets are getting more dangerous all the time."

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