Cell Phone Ban

In this Dothan Eagle photo illustration, a motorist uses a mobile phone to send a text message while driving. A proposed bill would take Alabama's ban on texting and driving further, banning motorists from holding a cell phone while driving.

An Alabama State Trooper spokesman said a proposed bill banning motorists from holding a cell phone while driving will make state highways safer.

The bill, sponsored by State Rep. Allen Farley, R-McCalla, has been given a favorable vote by a House committee and awaits further action.

Sen. Jim McClendon, R-Springville, has introduced a companion bill in the Senate. It is awaiting committee action.

“If this bill becomes law, and it is obeyed, it could help save lives,” said Capt. Tracy Nelson of the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency. “That is the key to all laws, they must be followed. Too many drivers are distracted by cell phones, and I believe something has to be done to protect those traveling on our roadways.”

The bill goes further than Alabama's current law, which simply bans texting and driving.

Nelson said distracted driving is a primary factor in accidents, especially those involving teen drivers.

Drivers in violation of the proposed law would pay a $50 fine for the first offense, $100 for the second, and $150 for the third.

Exceptions include using the phone as a navigational tool or a means to call 911 and first responders.

Hands free is already law in Georgia.

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