Driving News – A-1 Driving School

Higher Fines for Distracted Driving

A bill that would increase fines for distracted driving got a skeptical reception from some Georgia lawmakers.

House Bill 113 would raise fines for drivers who handle their cellphones or other electronic devices while driving. The current fine is $50. Under the bill, it could be as high as $100. Fines for subsequent offenses also would increase.

At a hearing before the House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee, supporters said Georgia motorists have had two years to get accustomed to the state’s ban on handling phones while driving. They say stiffer fines are needed because many people are ignoring the law.

Some lawmakers questioned whether raising fines is the best approach. They wondered whether additional educational efforts or other methods make more sense.

HB 113 would be the first update to the Hands-Free Georgia Act, which prohibited motorists from handling their phones while driving beginning in 2018. Under the law, motorists can use such devices if they use hands-free technology. But supporting a device with any part of their body is illegal.

The Georgia State Patrol wrote nearly 25,000 distracted driving citations in the first year after the law took effect. Early evidence suggested the new law has had an impact — Georgia traffic fatalities fell 2.2% to 1,515 in 2018 and an additional 4% last year.

But anyone driving on metro Atlanta highways can still see plenty of drivers with their eyes glued to their phones instead of the road.

Under the bill, the fine for a first offense would be $50 to $100, at a judge’s discretion. The fine for a second offense would range from $100 to $200, and a third offense would cost $150 to $300.

The bill also would raise fines for distracted driving offenses within school and construction zones.

Photo: Google Images

The same safe driving practices that are taught in A-1’s Defensive Driving Class can apply to be a safe driver in a car and on a motorcycle. There is a lot of very useful and informative information in the class and it will apply whether you have been driving for years or you are a brand new driver.

For more information about class schedules or to see A-1’s 19 convenient locations call (770)962-9555 or visit us at www.a1drivingschools.com!

Ex-Pro Wrestler DUI Arrest, Strikes 5-Year-Old on Bike

Photo: palmbeachpost.com

Mark Hildreth, who was a professional wrestler under the name ‘Van Hammer,’ was traveling 58 mph in a 35 mph zone, police estimate.

A 5-year-old boy whose bicycle still had training wheels was struck by the car driven by the former professional wrestler, who was speeding and drunk, and who then took off, police alleged.

Mark Hildreth, 60, is charged with leaving the scene of an injury crash and DUI with injuries.

The boy, whom police did not name, was thrown atop the car’s hood, a police report said.

He was taken as a trauma patient to Delray Medical Center, with possible internal injuries and “road rash.” Police said the injuries are not life-threatening and he was in stable condition.

In court at the Palm Beach County Jail, Circuit Judge Ted S. Booras set bail for Hildreth at $125,000, with an option for house arrest. Prosecutors said Hildreth had a 2004 DUI arrest in Georgia.

Hildreth — 6-foot-6 and 290 pounds in his prime — spent 12 years in wrestling before retiring in 2002, according to a 2013 Palm Beach Post profile.

We are glad that no one was seriously hurt in this accident which could have easily turned out differently.

How to keep bicyclists safe:

  • Watch for vehicles coming out of or turning into driveways.
  • Stop at corners of sidewalks and streets to look for anyone crossing before driving
  • 3 Feet of Clearance: More than 20 states have passed laws requiring motorists to give bicycles on the road about 3 feet of space.

DUI Laws | What You Need to Know

The laws make it illegal for drivers of all ages to operate motor vehicles if they have BAC percentages of:

  • 0.08% or higher, if they’re 21 years old or older operating regular passenger vehicles.
  • 0.04% or higher, if they’re operating commercial vehicles.
  • 0.02% or higher, if they’re younger than 21 years old.

Georgia State law also requires clinical evaluation and the attendance of a DUI / Risk Reduction Program that’s certified/licensed by the Georgia Department of Driver’s Services before your driver’s license can be reinstated if you have been charged with any of the following:

  1. DUI
  2. Drug Possession
  3. Other drug offenses
  4. Under-age possession of drugs or alcohol

Before getting behind the wheel after having a few, consider the many reasons why you should not.

For more information about DUI School visit www.a1drivingschools.com or call (770) 962-9555!

From everyone here at A-1’s Driving School, we would like to wish everyone a safe, festive holiday! 

New Med School Graduate Killed by DUI Driver

A University of Georgia graduate who had recently completed medical school was killed after a drunken driver smashed into his car, officials said.

Photo: Tyler Wallace (cbs46.com)

Tyler Wallace, M.D. was driving home from a post-medical training class when he was hit by a DUI driver. Wallace was exiting Highlands Grove Business Park at 3690 Highlands Parkway S.E. in a gray 2016 Chrysler 200 when he was struck on the driver’s side by a black 2014 Toyota Tundra.

First responders had to use the jaws of life to extract Wallace from his vehicle. He was rushed to Kennestone Hospital where he later died from his injuries.

Police at the scene of the wreck asked the other driver, Brent Douglas Davis, to step out of his truck to speak with them, the warrant said. An officer noticed he was unsteady on his feet and his speech was slurred. Officers noticed the smell of mouthwash on his breath.

Photo: Brent Davis (cbs46.com)

Davis denied a field sobriety test and denied he was drunk. Police later found beer cans in the car.

Davis was charged with homicide by vehicle and DUI.

A court-ordered toxicology test later confirmed that Brent was driving under the influence.

Wallace was a 2016 graduate of the University of Georgia and a 2019 graduate of Augusta Medical College. He started a new physical therapy practice in June, following the completion of the United States Medical Licensing board exams.

Our condolences go to the family and friends of Tyler Wallace.

Georgia State law requires clinical evaluation and the attendance of the DUI program that’s certified/licensed by the Georgia Department of Driver’s Services before your driver’s license can be reinstated if you have been charged with any of the following:

  1. DUI
  2. Drug Possession
  3. Other drug offenses
  4. Under-age possession of drugs or alcohol

Tyranny Todd will be able to complete this at any of A-1’s 19 convenient locations.

For more information visit www.a1drivingschools.com or call (770) 962-9555!

Deadly Suwanee Wreck That Shut Down I-85

Photo: Gwinnettdailypost.com

Police charged a 28-year-old woman with homicide by vehicle and other traffic charges after she was involved in an accident that killed two commercial truck drivers and shut down Interstate 85 for several hours.

Police said Leah Knox was arrested and transported to the Gwinnett County Jail after being released from the hospital. Police charged her with homicide by vehicle, failure to maintain lane and driving too fast for conditions.

Photo: Gwinnettdailypost.com

Police said alcohol consumption does not appear to be a contributing factor; however, speed and weather conditions are being investigated.

Gwinnett County police officers responded to the crash on I-85 southbound between Lawrenceville-Suwanee Road and Old Peachtree Road in unincorporated Suwanee. Officers saw three vehicles involved in the crash, two tractor-trailers and Knox’s grey 2009 Mitsubishi Eclipse.

Police said the drivers of both commercial tractor-trailers were dead. The victims were 63-year-old Stockbridge man Robert Kent and 50-year-old Decatur man Raymond Samuel. Knox was transported to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

Based on the preliminary investigation, evidence at the scene and witness statements, investigators believe Knox lost control of her car and made an impact with a guardrail on the right side of the roadway. The tractor-trailer driven by Kent struck the Mitsubishi after it bounced off the guardrail and reentered the roadway. Kent’s vehicle continued forward and struck the center median wall.

Police said the movements of the tractor-trailer driven by Samuel are still being investigated. Investigators are trying to determine whether it struck the Mitsubishi or Kent’s tractor-trailer.

Our condolences go out to the family and friends of those involved in this tragic accident.

Speed

The first thing standing between you and safety during a wet commute is your speed. Speed factors into everything where driving is concerned. A rule of thumb is recommended that you decrease your speed by a third during wet conditions. Let’s do the math; If you’re driving the speed limit down at 65 mph normally, then during wet conditions you should drive 43 mph. Speed in wet conditions affect stopping and braking distance too.

Everyone will have to deal with hydroplaning at some point or other, in wet road conditions. Do you know how to respond if your car begins to hydroplane?

Hydroplaning, Regaining Control

Safety in wet road conditions should also include how to react in case of incidents like hydroplaning. If you begin to lose control of your vehicle in wet conditions you should first avoid slamming on the brake. It may be easier said than done but it helps. Slamming on the brake throws the vehicle’s balance off even further and makes re-establishing control of the wheel, much more difficult. When losing control you should remain as observant as possible and steer the car in the direction you want it to go.

Consider taking a driving course at A-1 if you are interested in learning more rules and regulations such as these. There is a lot of very useful and informative information in the class and it will apply whether you have been driving for years or you are a brand new driver.

The same safe driving practices that are taught in A-1’s Defensive Driving Class can be applied to be a safe driver in a car and on a motorcycle!

For more information about class schedules or to see A-1’s 19 convenient locations call (770)962-9555 or visit us at www.a1drivingschools.com!

Calhoun City Administrator Blew 0.224 on Breath Test

Recently suspended Calhoun City Administrator Eddie Peterson registered a .224 on an alcohol breath test, according to the Calhoun Police Department report regarding Peterson’s recent DUI arrest. The legal limit in Georgia is .08.

The Calhoun City Council voted unanimously during a special called meeting to suspend Peterson for 30 days without pay and to make Assistant City Administrator Paul Worley the acting city administrator during the suspension.

Photo: northwestgeorgianews.com

According to the CPD report, Peterson backed his truck into another vehicle in the parking lot of the Heritage Hills Apartments where he lives. He told the officers that the space is typically empty.

Officers could smell alcohol on Peterson’s breath and he told them he had consumed three beers about 3-4 hours prior.

Reports state Peterson performed poorly on several field sobriety tests, including a one-leg-stand test that had to be stopped.

“Mr. Peterson could not comprehend instructions and began taking steps and lost his balance, so testing had to be stopped for his safety,” according to the report.

Peterson was then asked to give a voluntary breath sample, during which he registered a level of .224, nearly three times the legal limit. He was then arrested.

DUI Laws | What You Need to Know

The laws make it illegal for drivers of all ages to operate motor vehicles if they have BAC percentages of:

  • 0.08% or higher, if they’re 21 years old or older operating regular passenger vehicles.
  • 0.04% or higher, if they’re operating commercial vehicles.
  • 0.02% or higher, if they’re younger than 21 years old.

Georgia State law also requires clinical evaluation and the attendance of a DUI / Risk Reduction Program that’s certified/licensed by the Georgia Department of Driver’s Services before your driver’s license can be reinstated if you have been charged with any of the following:

  1. DUI
  2. Drug Possession
  3. Other drug offenses
  4. Under-age possession of drugs or alcohol

Before getting behind the wheel after having a few, consider the many reasons why you should not.

For more information about DUI School visit www.a1drivingschools.com or call (770) 962-9555!

Toyota Recalls 2.9M Vehicles

Photo: Google Images

Toyota is recalling about 2.9 million cars in the U.S. because the airbags may not inflate in a crash.

The recall covers certain 2011-2019 Corollas, the 2011 to 2013 Matrix, the 2012 through 2018 Avalon and the 2013 to 2018 Avalon Hybrid.

Toyota says the airbag control computer may not be properly protected against electrical interference. That can lead to incomplete airbag deployment or failure to inflate in a crash.

Toyota statement:

“The subject vehicles may be equipped with an electronic control unit (ECU) from a specific supplier designed to receive signals from crash sensors and deploy the airbags and seat belt pretensioners.  The ECU may not have adequate protection against certain electrical noise that can occur in certain crashes, such as severe underride crashes. This can lead to incomplete or nondeployment of the airbags and/or seat belt pretensioners.  Airbag non-deployment and/or lack of seat belt pretensioner operation can increase the risk or severity of injury in a crash.”

In most cases, Toyota dealers will install a noise filter between the airbag control computer and a wiring harness. In some cases, dealers will inspect the computer to determine if it needs the filter. The remedy will be at no cost to vehicle owners.

Owners will be notified by mid-March.

Whether you have been driving for years or you are a brand new driver, A-1 offers classes that will help you brush up on some rules and regulations before it’s too late.

If you have a clean driving record for 3 years, you may take the 6-hour Defensive Driving Program to receive a 10% -15% discount on your auto insurance premium. The insurance discount percentage is determined by your insurance company.

For more information about class schedules or to see A-1’s 19 convenient locations call (770)962-9555 or visit us at www.a1drivingschools.com!

Worst Times to Drive in Atlanta for Christmas

Photo: Google Images

Most Americans are expected to travel this holiday season, so you may want to pack your patience before Christmas Day.

Data compiled by AAA reports 115.6 million people will travel from Sunday, Dec. 21, to Wednesday, Jan. 1. That’s an increase of 3.9 % over last year and more than 104 million folks plan on hitting the road.

Global travel analytics company INRIX anticipates delays to be the worst on Thursday, Dec. 26 at 4:30 – 6:30 p.m.

Afternoon delays will almost double drive times across major U.S. cities.

In Georgia, more than 3 million travelers are expected, with 187,000 driving and just as many taking flight. That’s a 3.7% increase in Georgia drivers from last year and 4% increase from 2018 in those flying.

AAA encourages people to remain calm as they drive in order to avoid road rage incidents. Tips include not offending other drivers by forcing them to hit the breaks or change direction, remaining tolerant and forgiving, and not responding with eye contact or gestures.

We hope everyone stays safe on the road this holiday season!

Don’t let a DUI crash ruin what is supposed to be a great time of fellowship with family and friends.

Make that plan for a sober ride home before the night begins.

All motorists can use the following tips to stay safe, focused, sober and patient while traveling:

  • Plan ahead for a sober ride.
  • Arrange for a designated driver, use a rideshare service or program the numbers for cab companies into your phone.
  • You can also plan to use public transportation, but check schedules ahead of time in case service is altered during the holiday.
  • Don’t try to make up time by speeding. Because of extra traffic on the road, leave for your destination earlier than needed to allow for increased travel time.
  • Make sure everyone in your vehicle is wearing their seat belt and all children under 8 are riding in an approved child passenger safety seat or booster seat.
  • Limit driver distractions by staying off phones. Program GPS before you get on the road or have a passenger be in charge of navigation.
  • Take breaks to avoid drowsy driving: Plan rest stops as needed and alternate drivers if possible!

The same safe driving practices that are taught in A-1’s Defensive Driving Class can be applied to be a safe driver in a car and on a motorcycle. There is a lot of very useful and informative information in the class and it will apply whether you have been driving for years or you are a brand new driver.

For more information about class schedules or to see A-1’s 19 convenient locations call (770)962-9555 or visit us at www.a1drivingschools.com!

MTV Reality Star Arrested on DUI

Photo: newsbreak.com

A woman who recently appeared on an MTV reality show was arrested and charged with DUI.

Tyranny Todd, who appeared on MTV’s Are You The One?, was arrested by the Georgia State Patrol on a DUI charge and texting while driving charge in Augusta.

Todd was on the fifth season of the series, which takes a large group of single adults and charges them with finding the perfect match for them.

The bonus on top of finding “true love” is a $1 million cash prize that is split between the “perfect couple.”

Georgia State law requires clinical evaluation and the attendance of the DUI program that’s certified/licensed by the Georgia Department of Driver’s Services before your driver’s license can be reinstated if you have been charged with any of the following:

  1. DUI
  2. Drug Possession
  3. Other drug offenses
  4. Under-age possession of drugs or alcohol

Tyranny Todd will be able to complete this at any of A-1’s 19 convenient locations.

For more information visit www.a1drivingschools.com or call (770) 962-9555!

Merry Christmas!

“Drink” and “be merry” are the top two activities expected at many holiday parties set to get underway and law enforcement wants you to keep this message in mind: “Drive sober or get pulled over.”

The warning of ‘Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over’ was issued at a news conference in Stone Mountain. Officials said state troopers, sheriff’s deputies, and police officers will be working during the holidays to take all drunk and drugged drivers off the road and to jail.

Authorities report more than 10,000 people died in drunk-driving crashes last year.

Unfortunately, Christmas is one of the times of the year when they see those numbers spike.

Don’t let a DUI crash ruin what is supposed to be a great time of fellowship with family and friends.

Make that plan for a sober ride home before the night begins.
Photo: Google Images
 

All motorists can use the following tips to stay safe, focused, sober and patient while traveling:

  • Plan ahead for a sober ride.
  • Arrange for a designated driver, use a rideshare service or program the numbers for cab companies into your phone.
  • You can also plan to use public transportation, but check schedules ahead of time in case service is altered during the holiday.
  • Don’t try to make up time by speeding. Because of extra traffic on the road, leave for your destination earlier than needed to allow for increased travel time.
  • Make sure everyone in your vehicle is wearing their seat belt and all children under 8 are riding in an approved child passenger safety seat or booster seat.
  • Limit driver distractions by staying off phones. Program GPS before you get on the road or have a passenger be in charge of navigation.
  • Take breaks to avoid drowsy driving: Plan rest stops as needed and alternate drivers if possible!

The same safe driving practices that are taught in A-1’s Defensive Driving Class can be applied to be a safe driver in a car and on a motorcycle. There is a lot of very useful and informative information in the class and it will apply whether you have been driving for years or you are a brand new driver.

For more information about class schedules or to see A-1’s 19 convenient locations call (770)962-9555 or visit us at www.a1drivingschools.com!

From everyone here at A-1’s Driving School, we would like to wish everyone a safe, festive holiday! 

UGA Running Back Arrested on Open Container Charge

University of Georgia sophomore running back James Cook was arrested for having an open container of alcohol after police found an unsealed 1.75 liter glass bottle of Hennessy Cognac behind the driver’s seat of the 2017 Dodge Charger he was driving.

Photo: Google Images

A Bulldog offensive lineman was in the passenger seat next to Cook when the vehicle was pulled over, according to an Athens Clarke-County police report.

An officer patrolling on East Clayton Street observed the vehicle’s dealer tag, but could not see the expiration date. When the police moved behind the vehicle, Cook changed lanes.

The officer felt “the driver was attempting to evade me checking the temporary tag,” the report noted. The car pulled into a handicapped space and police noticed that the temporary tag number indicated an unknown insurance status.

After he was pulled over, Cook told the officer he did not have his driver’s license and he was a Georgia football player. The officer later learned Cook’s license was invalid.

The officer smelled burned marijuana, the report noted. Cook said there wasn’t any marijuana in the vehicle because he smoked it.

However, a marijuana “shake” was seen on the center console, according to the report.

Cook is Georgia’s fourth-leading rusher. Coach Kirby Smart and the school have yet to comment on Cook’s arrest.

DUI Laws | What You Need to Know

The laws make it illegal for drivers of all ages to operate motor vehicles if they have BAC percentages of:

  • 0.08% or higher, if they’re 21 years old or older operating regular passenger vehicles.
  • 0.04% or higher, if they’re operating commercial vehicles.
  • 0.02% or higher, if they’re younger than 21 years old.

Georgia State law also requires a clinical evaluation and the attendance of a DUI / Risk Reduction Program that’s certified/licensed by the Georgia Department of Driver’s Services before your driver’s license can be reinstated if you have been charged with any of the following:

  1. DUI
  2. Drug Possession
  3. Other drug offenses
  4. Under-age possession of drugs or alcohol

Before getting behind the wheel after having a few, consider the many reasons why you should not.

Cook will be able to complete the following at A-1’s Athens location.

For more information about DUI School visit www.a1drivingschools.com or call (770) 962-9555!