No TXT When U DRV — Alabama Approves Texting Ban

April 30, 2012

The Alabama Legislature has given final approval to a law that bans texting while driving in Alabama, with just a few minor exceptions.

The Senate approved the bill 28-0, and the House approved a compromise verson 95-0. The law will take effect July 1 or August 1, depending on when it is signed by Gov. Robert Bentley.

The bill makes it illegal to use a cellphone or any other wireless device to communicate by text message, instant message or email while operating a vehicle on a public road or highway.

Exceptions include:

  • A driver that is obtaining emergency services.
  • A driver whose vehicle was in park on the shoulder of the road.
  • A driver getting directions from a navigation or GPS system.

The ban will carry a $25 fine for the first conviction, $50 for the second and $75 for each subsequent conviction. A conviction will also mean a 2-point penalty on a person’s license. A driver’s license is suspended for 60 days for 12 or more points in a two-year period.

The bill does not ban talking on a cellphone while driving.


7 Responses to “No TXT When U DRV — Alabama Approves Texting Ban”

  1. bigbill1961 on April 30th, 2012 9:01 pm

    I agree with Mike, a total ban on cell phone use in a moving vehicle. I can’t begin to count the number of times I have almost been forced off the road by someone talking on a cell phone. What in the world is so important that you can’t wait to stop and put your car in park? If you have a phone stuck to the side of your face, two things go wrong. 1) You only have one hand on the steering wheel. 2) Your peripheral vision is now shot on that side. Come on now, is talking on the phone while driving really worth the risk?

  2. c.w. on April 30th, 2012 11:14 am

    Does this include cop using their computor while driving?? If not, it should. They have/cause wrecks also.

  3. Safebear on April 30th, 2012 9:23 am

    I hope all realize that while the number of accidents will decrease a little, the severity of accidents usually increase when something like this is passed. Instead of people texting with the phone on the steering wheel where they can at least see a little, they will now be texting in their laps and beside them taking all of their visibility off the road.

  4. PETA on April 30th, 2012 6:23 am

    The state needs to piggyback on this bill and also ban people who drive with pets in their laps. It’s just as or more dangerous than texting.

  5. Molino-Anon on April 30th, 2012 4:31 am

    Thank the lord! Now maybe Florida will jump on this as well. Yes the fine is cheap, but the points aren’t. Also if you’re caught enough times to get your drivers license suspended, you’re looking at $675.00 in texting fines, plus another 300-400 to have your license reinstated after the two year suspension. Almost a grand just for texting?! Best thing to do is wait until parked or ease off the side of the road if you must really get that text to your “OMG LU2 BFF LOL.”

  6. Old Goldie on April 30th, 2012 3:24 am

    Hey, it’s better than nothing. Maybe it will be like the law that if someone is blasting their music TOO LOUD in the car next to you, you can call and report their tag number and they will get either a letter or a fine or maybe both.

    We already know that those who text while driving are lacking a few marbles anyway – so maybe they wouldn’t realize they could oppose the ticket. And if they are texting, they aren’t paying attention to whether a cop is around or not.

  7. Mike on April 30th, 2012 1:00 am

    Hmm. Some points: Fines too low. How can this be enforced? A person can turn the device off & say they were getting directions. I imagine it could be taken to court & the carrier’s records subpoenaed, but I doubt many would fight the ticket, unless their license was on the line. But, any idiot knows to stop texting when they see a police car.
    On cellphones, I think a requirement of a “handsfree” setup or a Bluetooth earpiece would make sense, as most people drive better with 2 hands instead of 1. This only partially alleviates the problem, as talking on a cellphone is a distraction from driving in any case. An outright ban on cell usage while driving would be even better. But what’s next? Eating, drinking a soda? Smoking? See the road this leads us down?
    We all just need to stop with the things that distract us while on the streets, pay better attention, & try to be better drivers.