MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - As of today, Alabama's new ban on texting and driving is officially in effect. Drivers caught texting, messaging or emailing will be ticketed and fined. Alabama is one of 39 states that have a texting and driving ban in place.
The law was signed into law back in May. Governor Bentley and the bill's sponsor Jim McClendon hope this law cuts down on the number of accidents and deaths caused by texting and driving.
Drivers will be ticketed and fined $25 for the first offence, $50 for the second and $75 for the third and subsequent offences. A violation also puts two points on a driver's record at the State Department of Public Safety, which could affect your insurance rates.
State troopers say it should be a no-brainer, but it's something they see far too often on Alabama's roadways.
Alabama State Trooper Curtis Summerville says, "you may be an innocent person, totally honest person, never committed a crime a day in your life and all of the sudden you find yourself in trouble with the law simply because you were texting."
If you live in cities like Montgomery, where a texting and driving ban is already in place, you should know that this state law makes texting and driving a primary offense, meaning that you don't have to be speeding or breaking any other laws to be pulled over.
There are exceptions to the law. Drivers can contact emergency services or use a GPS device while driving. They can also text when the vehicle is stopped and in neutral or park.