Georgia Lawmaker Seen Holding Phone While Driving And Riding Alone In HOV Lane

An observant citizen noticed and snapped a photo of Representative Sam Park (D-Lawrenceville) holding and talking on his phone while driving in the HOV lane as the lone passenger in his car according to an 11Alive story.

Rep. Park’s rationale? Being stuck in traffic on the Downtown Connector due to an accident. He was going to discuss the matter in an interview with 11Alive, but changed his mind. He sent an email explaining his side:

He sent an email instead, stating that he was headed to the Capitol for a committee hearing and “got stuck in traffic due to a car accident.”

“I got in the HOV lane so I would not miss a vote … I also gave my colleagues a call to update them on where I was,” Park said in an email. “I take very seriously my duties as a State Representative … I apologize for driving in the HOV lane.”

I’m sure not all among us follow Georgia’s hands-free law to the absolute letter, but I would say that the majority of us stick to the rules and stick our phones in those nifty holders we went out and bought days before the law became effective.

We, as ordinary citizens, aren’t exempt, and neither are our legislators from the hands-free law. I believe this can serve as fair warning that constituents really are watching what elected officials do.

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chefdavid
chefdavid

Hmmm…. All legislators, state or federal, shall be free from arrest during legislative sessions or committee meetings, and in going thereto or returning there from, except for treason, felony, or breach of the peace (United States Constitution, Article I, Section 6; Georgia Constitution, Article III, Section IV, Paragraph, IX

chefdavid
chefdavid

Here’s one I didn’t know about. “The members of the organized militia or military forces (see definitions in OCGA 38-2-2) shall in all cases, except treason, felony, or breach of the peace, be privileged from arrest during their attendance at drills, parades, meetings, encampments, and the election of officers and going to, during, and returning from the performance of any active duty as such members (OCGA 17-4-2).”

Gregs
Gregs

Here’s another one, if charged, hire Ralston and you will never face the consequences.