June 30, 2010
10-113

Kate Elliot
Communications Specialist

System Implements Annual Compliance Training

VALDOSTA -- In response to the Board of Regents and Department of Administrative Services (DOAS) Comprehensive Loss Control Program, Valdosta State University has adopted a new motor vehicle use procedure that requires all employees who drive on institutional business -- regardless of frequency or location -- to complete annual compliance training.

For more information, go to http://www.valdosta.edu/finadmin/human_resources/MotorVehicleProcedure.shtml

State employees should familiarize themselves with the latest driving laws, which are in effect as of July 1.

Wireless Telecommunications Devices

Senate Bill 360 -- the Caleb Sorohan Act -- prohibits individuals from using wireless telecommunications devices for writing, sending or receiving text messages while operating a motor vehicle. "No person shall operate a motor vehicle on any public road or highway of this state while using a wireless telecommunications device to write, send, or read any text based communication, including but not limited to a text message, instant message, electronic mail, or Internet data.”

Each offense will result in a $150 and the addition of one point to the violator’s driver’s license.

To read more about the bill, go to http://www.legis.state.ga.us/legis/2009_10/sum/sb360.htm

House Bill 23 prohibits drivers under the age of 18 from using wireless telecommunications devices. A wireless telecommunications device is defined as “a cellular telephone, a text-messaging device, a personal digital assistant, a stand alone computer, or any other substantially similar wireless device that is used to initiate or receive a wireless communication with another person.” It does not include citizens band radios, citizens band radio hybrids, commercial two-way radio communication devices, subscription-based emergency communications, in-vehicle security, navigation, and remote diagnostics systems or amateur or ham radio devices.

Like Senate Bill 360, the fine for each offense is $150 and one point on the driver’s license. If the operator of the moving motor vehicle is involved in an accident at the time of a violation, then the fine is doubled.

To read more about House Bill 23, go to http://www.legis.state.ga.us/legis/2009_10/sum/hb23.htm

Seatbelt Safety

Senate Bill 458 requires that each occupant in the front seat of a “passenger vehicle,” including pickup trucks, must be restrained by a seatbelt. The previous law allowed those in the front seat of pickup trucks to ride unrestrained. State employees driving pickup trucks on- or off-campus, regardless of how short the distance traveled, must adhere to the law. The Governor’s Office of Highway Safety estimates that the bill will save 100 lives each year.

For more information about Senate Bill 458, go to http://www.legis.state.ga.us/legis/2009_10/sum/sb458.htm