A measure banning texting while driving was recently approved in Alabama. The bill's signing, which will take effect on August 1, makes Alabama the 38th state to ban texting while driving.
Distracted driving involves any activity that diverts the driver’s attention from the road, including texting while driving, which has become increasing more common and contributed to far too many car crashes.
An estimated 1,256 crashes, including five fatalities, in 2010, were due to distraction from an electronic device, the most recent year for which data is available, according to Col. Hugh McCall, Alabama Public Safety Department of Public Safety.
“Signing this bill sends a message that drivers need to focus on driving, not sending a text,” Governor Robert Bentley said. “There is nothing so urgent that it is worth risking your life, or that of others, by sending a text while operating a vehicle.”
Texting while driving creates a crash risk 23 times greater than average, according to data provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Sending and receiving a text message takes the driver’s eyes from the road for an average of 4.6 seconds.
The new law bars Alabama driver’s from using a wireless device to read, write or send a text message, as well as instant message, or email while driving. First time offenders will have to pay a $25 fine, second offenders $50 and third or subsequent offenses will cost the driver $75. Additionally, two penalty points would be added to offenders’ licenses for each violation.
Take a second to read the Campaign Diary on 60ForSafety.org which highlights volunteer speakers and their hosts (schools, community groups and more) for sharing the message and helping to End Distracted Driving! The confirmed audience, to date is 36,423.
Together, through education, we can all make a difference.