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.