Southeastern News

1HomePageMap small se 0816Local news stories affecting the auto body industry in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee, and West Virginia

Thursday, 24 June 2010 11:15

Georgia Governor Signs Texting Ban

Georgia joins 27 other states in passing laws banning drivers from sending text messages while driving. The governor signed House Bill 23 which prohibits young people under age 18 from texting or using cell phones while driving.

He also signed Senate Bill 360 which prohibits drivers over 18 from texting. These bills become effective July 1, 2010. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that nearly 6,000 people died in 2008 from crashes involving a distracted or inattentive driver, and more than half a million were injured. Research also shows that the worst offenders are the youngest and least experienced drivers: men and women under 20 years of age.

“These laws are a positive step forward in the effort to make our roadways safer,” said Micaela Isler southeast regional manager for PCI. “House Bill 23 aims to assist our least experienced drivers in Georgia to be as safe as possible by banning cell phone use. The use of cell phones while behind the wheel is a significant source of distraction, but it represents one of many distractions that can lead to a crash.

By passing Senate Bill 360 Georgia is sending a strong message that all drivers have a responsibility to exercise good judgment in all of their driving activities. Although news media has focused attention on cell phone use and texting; navigation systems, eating and drinking as well as personal grooming can all serve as distractions that compromise road safety.”

The Georgia Collision Industry Association (GCIA) held its 4th Annual labor rates survey for Georgia in June. This was the first year the association utilized an online survey option as well as a phone method.

Specialty Paint and Body in Athens, GA, recently converted its painting system to waterborne paint techniques.

The use of waterborne paints lessens the release of volatile organic compounds that evaporate from liquids such as paint, paint thinner and gasoline.

Specialty Paint and Body already manages their environmental impact by composting shredded office paper, and recycling most plastic and metal car parts, paper and cardboard. It also reuses plastic sheeting to protect car parts during the repair process.


Georgia SB 360, also known as Caleb’s Law, named after a teen who died in a December car crash while texting and driving, has been signed by Governor Sonny Perdue. The law forbids texting while driving in the state of Georgia. The state now joins 27 others that have enacted similar bans. The Georgia law applies not just to writing a text message while driving, but also to the sending of it or the reading of “any text-based communication” on a “wireless telecommunications device.” Wireless telecommunications device means a cellular telephone, a text-messaging device, a personal digital assistant, or a stand alone computer. Starting July 1, drivers who are caught reading, writing or sending any kind of text message, including emails, could face a $150 fine and a point on their driver’s license.

No under-18 Calls While Driving

The Governor also signed a separate law, House Bill 23, that forbids anyone under 18 from using a cell phone while driving. Young drivers caught using a cell phone while behind the wheel may be fined $150, and if they become involved in an accident while on the phone, the fine doubles to $300.

Writes Randy: “I was born in Cleveland Ohio, and grew up in a small city called Wickliffe where four siblings, a nephew and I were raised by my single mother.  Since I can remember I’ve had a pencil in my hand, drawing. I couldn’t get enough of it and had a passion for cars.


Nothing can beat old American Muscle cars: Camaros, Cudas, Mustangs, etc. While looking for a way to implement both of my passions into one for a career, I found OTC. Here is where I developed these passions through the collision and repair and custom paint courses.

One day my class was told about a contest to design a picture for a tiger statue for the 2010 Year of The  Tiger Celebration. The Year of The Tiger public art project celebrates Cleveland’s Asian Town community. St. Clair Superior’s blossoming arts district and its thriving business community. The project is in commemoration of the Chinese Year of the Tiger which began with the new moon February 14, 2010.

I knew I wanted to do something noble, strong. A protector. The tiger statue was given to me where the first thing I started ground off the main under the jaw. The second thing was laying out my design. Third, start sculpting the armor out of a material called magic sculpt. This product gets rock hard and needs to be sanded. The wings have a metal frame that is welded together and actually sit over the tiger’s shoulders like a saddle and then I put magic sculpt over the frame. And fourth, I painted and cleared it and the finished product is what you see here.

During this creation I received help and encouragement from some people that I would like to thank, Mr. Downy, Mike Donahue, and Mr. Gold.

Leading automotive trade school Ohio Technical College is excited to announce The Rich Evans Academy; a three-month advanced collision repair and customizing program where students will learn fabrication, welding, water-borne painting and fiberglass molding, among other advanced skills.

Rich Evans, is an Autobody News columnist and owner of Huntington Beach Bodyworks in California, is a custom car builder, painter and TV personality who has appeared on such shows as “Monster Garage” and “Pimp My Ride.”

As part of the new partnership, he will work with OTC to develop a real-world curriculum based on decades of experience designing and building one-of-a-kind vehicles. Evans will also assist OTC in outfitting the Rich Evans Academy shop with the tools, training aids and equipment needed to facilitate the program.

“The new Rich Evans Academy is an advanced, concentrated course designed to give students employable skills that many of their peers will not have after graduation.  We are excited to partner with Rich, who shares his years of experience with our students as well as our instructors,” said Tom King, director of Enrollment, OTC.