Alabama enacts ban on texting while driving
Alabama became the 38th state Tuesday to prohibit text messaging by all drivers. The new law signed by Governor Robert Bentley takes effect Aug. 1. Violators will be fined $25 for a first offense, $50 for a second offence and $75 for a third or subsequent offense.
U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood applauded the governor for signing the law.
“With Governor Bentley’s signature, now more than three-quarters of all states outlaw one of the riskiest behaviors behind the wheel – texting and driving,” said LaHood. “Alabama roads and motorists will be safer as a result of this law, which reminds everyone that we cannot ignore the potentially life-altering dangers associated with text messaging and driving.”
A 2009 Virginia Tech Transportation Institute study of commercial drivers found that a safety-critical event is about 23 times more likely if a driver is texting while driving. In 2004 a Prevost motorcoach crashed into a bridge in Alexandria, Va., injuring 11 high school students. It was later found that the driver was distracted from his hands-free cell-phone.
Alabama and 37 other states, the District of Columbia, Guam and the Virgin Islands have banned text messaging while driving. Ten states, the District of Columbia, Guam and the Virgin Islands prohibit all hand-held cell phone use while driving.