Cell phone ordinance has drivers preparing

Posted by: Melissa McKinney - bio | email

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Drivers beware!  In just a few days Montgomery police officers will start writing tickets for people caught using their phones while driving.

It's considered a secondary offense, which means you have to be pulled over for another violation in order to be cited under the cell phone law.

The city gave motorists a month long-grace period after the ordinance was adopted, prompting many to find alternatives to hand held phones.

"This is one of the wireless Bluetooths that we have here," says Rachel Owens, Manager of a Sprint store on Atlanta Highway.

Take it from her, it's unusual to see hands-free phone accessories anywhere in the store.

"We can't keep them on the shelves.  We're selling out," she says.

Owens says the city's new cell phone ordinance has many customers stocking up on accessories like hands-free ear pieces--keeping their fingers off the phone and on the steering wheel.  And it's prompting safety and increased sales.

"It's a win-win situation," says Owens.

Some cars are already made these days with hands-free technology, so that means if your phone and your car are compatible, you can dial and receive calls straight through your stereo system.

Zerry Davis never has to touch his phone while driving.

"Absolutely safe because you're not distracted," he says.

He found out his truck had the capability after looking on the Internet.  It's as easy as searching your car manufacturer's website.

"It'll show you which phones are compatible with which cars," says Owens.

It's helpful advice for anyone trying to dodge a ticket, especially since Montgomery police have already written 19 warnings so far in the 30-day grace period.

"I think it's very dangerous, number one, and number two, I do not want a ticket.  And I am not going to pay anymore money for any tickets especially for something I can help," says Montgomery driver, Laura Wesley.

"I'm going to try not to, but I know I can text and drive and not even look at my phone when I'm doing it," says driver Penny Franklin.

It's a risk some may be willing to take, perhaps until an officer hands them a ticket.

Prattville passed a similar ordinance a few months ago. At last report their police officers haven't written any tickets for cell phone violations.© Copyright 2010 WSFA. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.