Alabama may adopt a limited ban for drivers' phone use

An Alabama lawmaker is working on a bill that would ban people from holding their phones while driving. According to WHNT News 19, Alabama Representative Allen Farley plans to introduce a bill that would ban drivers from using their phones, except for hands-free use.

 

Disobedient drivers would be fined

Under the proposed bill, if drivers are stopped for phone use, they would be fined $50 and receive two or three points on their driving records. In Alabama, a driver’s license is suspended when the driver receives 12-14 points within a certain time frame.

Texting drivers much more likely to get into an accident

According to the Alabama Department of Transportation (DOT), an Alabama vehicle accident was reported every 200 seconds in 2017. The DOT also states that a driver who is texting is 23 times more likely to get into an accident than a driver who is not texting.

Farley said the bill was inspired by a 17-year-old girl who was killed in a crash where the driver was texting. The young Alabama woman went to same school as his grandkids.

Georgia just passed a similar law, which went into effect in July. It bans drivers from holding any electronic device while driving, even if your phone is on your shoulder or in your lap. A law enforcement officer from Columbus said he believes it is keeping drivers from putting themselves and other drivers in danger.

A Huntsville resident, Cory Bellamy, said he sees people using their phones frequently while driving, and they are often hitting the edge of their lanes.

EMS see distracted driving accidents often

A community relations officer for Huntsville Emergency Medical Services said they see a lot of distracted driving accidents, and he would be in favor of the ban.

Farley is asking for input from law enforcement agencies across the state, and then he plans to introduce the legislation in March.

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