Prince, Glover & Hayes is Proud to Support Alabama’s Ban Against Texting and Driving

by: Prince, Glover & Hayes Monday, July 23rd, 2012

“Talk to You Later Act”
Representative John Merrill

Alabama has become the 38th state to ban text-based communication while driving. House Bill 2, known as the “Talk to You Later Act,” prohibits driving a vehicle on an Alabama highway or street while using a wireless telecommunication device to write, send or read a text-based communication. The law protects Alabama’s highways where driving at high-speeds and using a cell phone makes it four times more likely that a driver will be involved in an injury-causing crash.

Sending text messages or emails inhibits a driver’s ability to drive while taking their eyes off the road, hands off the steering wheel and mind off the task of driving. Sending and receiving texts while operating a vehicle is likened to driving under the influence of alcohol. According to a University of Utah study, phone distractions may delay a driver’s reaction time as much as having a blood alcohol concentration of .08%, the legal limit.

The law defines “text-based communication” to include text messages, instant messages, or email. It does not include entering a telephone number or a name into a phone for the purposes of making a call. Importantly, it is not a violation of the law to use a cell phone to obtain emergency services or while parked on the shoulder of a public road. Nor is it a violation to use a GPS system while driving. However, the programming of coordinates into a GPS while driving remains a violation.

Alabama has traffic laws to protect its citizens from risky driving behavior, and those laws must keep up with the times. The “Talk to You Later Act” seeks to protect families on the highways by addressing the problem of texting while driving. Penalties for violating the “Talk to You Later Act” include: $25 fine for the first violation, $50 for the second, and $75 for the third. Any violation counts on Alabama’s point system that could lead to the revocation of a driver’s license. The law becomes effective August 1, 2012.

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