A police officer noticed the small car make two illegal turns and nearly stop at two green lights in Dunwoody, Ga., just before dawn Wednesday, so Sgt. Aaron Belt pulled over the driver to see what was going on.
That the driver was apparently talking on his cell phone before the traffic stop wasn’t necessarily the issue — you’re not allowed to text and drive in Georgia, but it isn’t illegal there to talk on a cell phone while driving.
But what Belt encountered while conversing with the driver left him “dumbfounded,” he told WXIA-TV in Atlanta.
As Belt was explaining why he was making the stop, the driver interrupted him…to answer a cell phone call.
No let-the-call-hit-voice-mail, not even a quick I’ll-have-to-call-you-back…the driver actually yapped away with Belt standing right there.
“It didn’t seem to faze him at all that he was so distracted by his cell phone that he immediately had to pick it up again and continue to talk on it,” the officer told WXIA.
Belt noted that he might have let the driver go with a warning, but as you can probably imagine, the blatant lack on consideration quickly negated that possibility — so Belt wrote up a ticket for distracted driving. Dunwoody Police did not release the driver’s name.
Aside from the driver’s ignorant behavior after the stop, what happened that initially caught Belt’s attention is the larger issue, which many other drivers are guilty of.
“It’s really becoming an epidemic and what we’re seeing is that people are more concerned with their cell phones than they are with concentrating on the road in front of them,” Belt told WXIA.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nine people are killed each day in the U.S. and more than 1,000 injured because of distracted driving.
“If it’s so important that you need to send that text or take that phone call or send that email message, we would just ask that you would pull off the road and do it safely, not only for your own safety, but for those around you,” Belt told WXIA.
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