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Is Texting-While-Driving Ban Making an Impact?

ATLANTA -- Early data from Georgia, and the most recent national study, suggest texting bans aren't as effective as most wish they were.

The numbers show a very heated law off to a very slow start.

READ: Highway Loss Data Institute Findings

In Georgia, Governor Sonny Perdue signed a texting-while-driving ban into law earlier this year; it went into effect in July and started getting enforced in August.

"Since then, we have issued 30 citations," said Trooper 1st Class Carlos Searcy of the Georgia State Patrol.

That's less than one per day.

Thank You from the Dunwoody Police Department

DUNWOODY, GA -- The Dunwoody Police Department would like to extend a big "thank you" to everyone who participated in Operation Pill Drop.

The event was a tremendous success. A total of 104.2 pounds of pills were collected on Saturday, Sept. 25. Citizens have responded well to the effort of trying to keep these expired drugs out of the hands of children.

If you have any questions about Operation Pill Drop, contact Sgt. Mike Carlson at 678-382-6907.

Storms Pelt Atlanta, Create Major Problems, Power Outages

SMYRNA, Ga. -- What began as afternoon showers graduated into heavy severe storms by evening that did damage from one end of the metro area to the other.

A tree fell on Georgia Tech's campus near Techwood. According to reports, catching a power line and possibly damaging a gas line, forcing some student evacuations from nearby buildings.

In Alpharetta, lightning sparked two residential structure fires.  No one was hurt and fire crews were able to contain the fire quickly at a structure on Morning Park Circle. Fire was extinguished quickly at a home on Oakstone Glenn.

Hail pelted Cobb County, coming down in chunks in Smyrna.

In Dunwoody a massive pine fell on the garage of a home on Shadow Court.

Severe thunderstorm warnings lit up the radar into the 7 p.m. hour as heavy rain bands bringing thunder and lightning spread across the night sky. 

MARTA Bus and Train Services Changes Saturday Morning

ATLANTA -- MARTA bus riders will wake Saturday morning to find routes all over the city have been eliminated.

With his cane in his hand, Frank Reed spent Friday evening waiting for his last ride on MARTA bus route 57. He sat beneath a sign that tells him his stop on Old Gordon Road in N.W. Atlanta is going away.

Reed doesn't have a car. The closest stop he knows of is a half-mile away from his routine stop. The cane and knee wrap tell you it won't be an easy walk.

"I have bone cancer and diabetes," said Reed. "Walking period is strenuous for me."

MARTA is making cuts that even the transit authority admits are unprecedented and severe. Facing a 69-million dollar budget shortfall, MARTA has made cuts to the rail line that will mean trains will come less frequently, adding an average of five minutes to your wait. On weekends, trains that started running at 4:45 a.m., won't start running until 6 a.m.

GA 400 Tolls Extended 10 Years

ATLANTA -- The State Road and Toll Authority has voted to extend the tolls on Georgia 400 another 10 years.

Friday's 3-1 vote extends the tolls until January 2020, instead of removing them next year.

The Department of Transportation voted similarly earlier Friday morning.

Officials said 20 years ago that the toll would be removed when
its bonds were paid off.

SRTA Director Gena Evans and Bert Brantley, a spokesman for Gov. Sonny Perdue, say much has changed in those 20 years, including explosive population growth in the area served by the highway.

Funds collected from the tolls will be used on projects like improving the the GA 400/I-85 interchange.

Vote on Georgia 400 Tolls Coming Friday

FULTON COUNTY, GA -- Georgia commuters say the state will be breaking a promise if the tolls on Georgia 400 don't end next year.

"We've had enough crooked politicians trying to steal our money," said driver Dan Selton as he prepared to pay his 50 cents.

Selton and others remember the vow when the toll plaza on Georgia 400 appeared, how the state signed an agreement that the tolls would end when the bonds to finance the road were paid off in the year 2011.

As that date approaches, the Georgia State Tollway Authority will vote Friday on whether or not to keep the coins coming. If the tolls remain, the additional revenue would be used to make improvements at places like the often congested interchange of Georgia 400 and I-85.

To former Atlanta mayor Sam Massell, it's plenty of reason to keep the tolls intact.

Vote on Georgia 400 Tolls Coming Friday

FULTON Co. -- Georgia commuters say the state will be breaking a promise if the tolls on Georgia 400 don't end next year.

"We've had enough crooked politicians trying to steal our money," said driver Dan Selton as he prepared to pay his 50 cents.

Selton and others remember the vow when the toll plaza on Georgia 400 appeared, how the state signed an agreement that the tolls would end when the bonds to finance the road were paid off in the year 2011.

As that date approaches, the Georgia State Tollway Authority will vote on Friday whether or not to keep the coins coming. If the tolls remain, the additional revenue would be used to make improvements at places like the often congested interchange of Georgia 400 and I-85.

To Sam Massell, former Atlanta mayor, it's plenty of reason to keep the tolls intact.