Prattville Police tackle texting ban

Posted by Cody Holyoke - bio | email

PRATTVILLE, AL (WSFA) - If you're driving in Prattville, the sweet electronic sounds of a text message better be coming from the passenger seat from now on.  A new 'texting while driving' ban takes effect July 1.

Police now have another law to enforce--one that prohibits texting or even surfing the internet while driving.

"They do have the discretion to stop them and either give them a warning or write the ticket," said Prattville Police Department's Lieutenant Patrick Kowalczyk.

Officers will treat the law like a loud music ordinance, issuing a ticket with a fine.  Repeat offenders would pay more and could possibly spend time in jail.

"They'll be given a court date, like you would any other traffic citations," Kowalczyk said.

The law, officers advise, is not going to be easy to enforce. Authorities will look for obvious signs of texting.

"They'd have to articulate that the person or persons were using their hands to text," Kowalczyk explained.

Police tell WSFA 12 News there won't be any special patrols out enforce the new ban.  Officers say they want to get the message to drivers to be safe.

"The citizens, while driving, need to be more responsible and use common sense," Kowalczyk said.

Some drivers are skeptical, but the city is trying.  Workers will soon use "No Texting" street signs to get the word out.

It's a message some people already receive loud and clear.

"What you do affects not only you, but it affects other people. So you have to be unselfish," said Joanne Griffin of Deatsville.

For more information on the new texting law, click here.

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