MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - The National Transportation board recommended this week that states should ban all driver use of cell phones and other portable electronic devices, except in emergencies.
Text messaging on cell phones is banned for all drivers in 35 states and the District of Columbia. Alabama and six other states, ban only novice drivers from texting. Novice drivers defined as 16 and 17-year-old drivers who have held an intermediate license for fewer than 6 months.
In Montgomery, we have ordinances against text messaging and the use of handheld devices while driving but it's only a secondary offense. Meaning police cannot pull over violators for that reason alone.
Alabama Representative Jim McClendon said it best and I quote, "If you don't use seat belts, you put yourself at risk. When you text message, you put everybody at risk." We couldn't agree more. Getting behind the wheel is serious business and doing anything other than focusing on the road is downright selfish and potentially life threatening.
When the Alabama legislature reconvenes in February we strongly encourage them to have the courage to pass primary meaningful laws against texting while driving. It's the common sense thing to do and it will save lives.