By: Rebecca Hale
Updated: Jul 2, 2018 – 1:07 PM
ATLANTA – Even as Georgia drivers are still adjusting to Georgia’s new hand free law, some lawmakers are still not satisfied.
Daniel Shapper, spokesperson for Heads UP Georgia, explains. “Although HB673 was a step in the right direction, we now want to get to the root of the problem.”
There is a new amendment proposal to HB673 that is gaining traction among public safety advocates. If the proposal passes, Georgia drivers will be penalized for even thinking about their phones, text messages, or even thinking about people who have texted them in the last 48 hours.
“We have to cut the snake off at the head.” – Daniel Shapper, Heads UP Georgia
Proponents of the HB673 amendment hope to utilize cutting edge neuroscience techniques and innovations in bioengineering to install roadside brain scanners that will be able to identify – within 0.2 milliseconds – whether or not a driver is thinking about anything related to their phone with up to 97.3% accuracy. If any phone related brain activity is identified, the driver will receive a $200 ticket in their mailbox within 24 hours.
Many Georgians have bristled at the idea of live brain scans that are paid for with taxpayer dollars. “This is a level of invasiveness that far exceeds the responsibilities of the state as originally outlined by the Georgia constitution,” said state representative Benny Hall (R- district 18). A group of activist mothers who call themselves Mothers Against Driving Scans (MADS) worry that the live brain scans will give their children autism, severe disobedience, and spontaneous diarrhea. Others are apprehensive that this could expand into other areas of public life, so that brain activity related to any illegal activity could be tracked and used for data sharing, or worse, become grounds for arrest. “What if I accidentally remember a scene from the movie Logan, and it’s perceived as excessively violent ideation? It’s a slippery slope,” asserts Patrick Louise, a full time student at Georgia State University. At the time of the interview, Louise was protesting just outside the Georgia capitol grounds, and held a sign that said “Keep Georgia Off Your Mind!”
Shapper and Heads UP Georgia anticipated backlash against the HB673 amendment, but are committed to pushing it through the next legislative session. “If we’re going to keep our neighborhoods safe, we have to cut the snake off at the head,” Shapper says.
One thing is for sure, Georgia drivers better buckle in for a bumpy road of political warfare.