Cherokee County starts distracted driving crackdown

You better think twice about texting and driving in Cherokee County.  Authorities are cracking down on those who aren't focused on the road.

Cherokee County Sheriff's Office has teamed up with Woodstock Police and the Georgia State Patrol to crack down on distracted drivers.  "Cellphones have become part of our daily lives, and they're a great tool, but they can also get you killed," said Cherokee County Sheriff's Lt. Mike Grier.

Monday law enforcement concentrated their efforts on the Towne Lake area, and they're not just looking for drivers who are texting.  "We've had ladies putting on make up, people eating, reading the paper," said Lt. Grier.

For now, drivers are getting a break.  Instead of handing out tickets, deputies are handing out pamphlets with the rules of the road.  They're hoping drivers get the message before it's too late.  Authorities say there have already been 168 distracted driving crashes in Cherokee County since January 1st of this year.

Many drivers say what the authorities are doing is a service to the community. "I think there are a lot of distractions, I think the phones are the majority of the problems because it holds your attention," said Melissa Aselton. 

Steve Dodd says he thinks some drivers will learn a thing or two.  "I think awareness is the key because I think if people don't know, they will continue to do that," said Dodd. 

He says from now on, he's letting his kids handle the phone duties.  His daughter, Madison, says she already helps out when her parents are driving. "We always try to be their DT,  wheneve they need to call somebody or text someone while they're driving. So, like a designated driver, it's a designated texter," said Madison.

Lt. Grier says the message is simple.  "Please put your phones down, drive safe, get to where you're going and don't hurt nobody," said Lt. Grier.

The crack down on distracted drivers will last throughout the week.