Grace period ends for those who text while driving

Reported by: Melissa Johnson - bio | email
Posted by: Mario Hendricks - bio | email

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Drivers in Montgomery have had their fair warning. Police officers are now handing out citations to people using their hand held cell phones while driving, depending on the situation.

The ordinance went into effect August 12th but for the past thirty days the city has been under a grace period for drivers to get used to the new law and have the chance to get hands free devices if they wanted to.

The City of Montgomery has been running public service announcements to remind folks of the new law.

It's part of a campaign called "Survive the Drive" which shows the dangers of distracted driving.

The cell phone ordinance is a secondary offense. This means that you can't get pulled over just for using your phone while driving.

You have to be breaking another law like speeding, not wearing your seat belt, or running a stop sign in order to get a ticket.

It's important to remember that the ordinance doesn't just apply to texting while driving. Drivers are prohibited from using any function on a wireless communications device.

There are some exceptions to the rule however.

If your phone has a GPS Function, you are allowed to use it as long as it is affixed to your car during use.

Phones can also be used in emergency situations, if you need to call for help or to report a crime.

And of course, Blue Tooth and other hands free devices are allowed under this law.

Signs to notify drivers of the new law are posted at ten entry points into the city. This includes Vaughn Road, Atlanta Highway, U.S. Highway 80 and the Troy Highway.

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