• It will soon be illegal to hold your phone while driving in Georgia

    By: Aaron Diamant , Richard Elliot

    Updated:

    ATLANTA - Georgia's governor is expected to sign a new distracted driving bill Wednesday.

    The law will make it illegal to hold your phone while you're driving.

    [Gov. Deal to sign hands-free distracted driving bill into law]

    Gov. Nathan Deal won't be signing that bill at the Capitol. Deal will do it in Statesboro, home of Georgia Southern University. That's where five nursing students killed in a highway crash went to school.

    “Don’t view this as a hostile act by the state government,” Deal said. “It is an act to protect the safety of anyone.”

    Channel 2’s Aaron Diamant spoke exclusively with the parents of one of those women. They fought for the law they say will save lives.

    Craig and Kathy Clark of Cobb County will be in Statesboro to mark the milestone.

    “This is something that's coming out of a horrific situation,” Craig Clark said.


    RELATED STORIES:


    Emily Clark was one of the nursing students  who died in the 2015 wreck after a tractor-trailer hit the girl’s SUV while it was stopped in traffic on I-16 eastbound. 

    “To take a life, I don’t know how someone could live with themselves just because they were looking at a text message or talking on the phone and was distracted,” Kathy Clark said.

    The new law will make it illegal for drivers to hold a phone while driving.

    “Taking your eyes off the roads for those few seconds mean the difference between life and death,” Craig Clark said.

    Truck driver John Wayne Johnson is serving a five-year prison sentence for vehicular homicide, and the trucking company paid out tens of millions of dollars in settlements to the families of those who died. The two survivors, including Megan Richards of Loganville, were awarded $15 million after a 2017 trial. 

    “If you can say that that this saves one life, then everything that we went through and hoped for could be well worth it,” Kathy Clark said.

    The law will go into effect July 1, 2018 and will impose stiff fines for offenders.

    Next Up: