Alabama lawmakers proposing bill to ban holding phones while driving

Published: Mar. 24, 2023 at 4:17 PM EDT
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ALABAMA (WTVM) - In Alabama, it is currently against the law to text and drive… but during the legislative session this week a proposed bill could make it illegal to hold, record with or view your phone while driving.

“We give the analogy if you look down at your phone to either read or send a text message, if you’re going just 55 miles per hour and you look down for 4 to 5 seconds you already went the distance of a football field,” said Alabama Law Enforcement Agency Public Affairs Coordinator Sergeant Jeremy Burkett.

Texting and driving is no joke… and is currently illegal in Alabama.

According to the National Safety Council…cell phone use while driving leads to 1.6 million crashes each year in the US… and Nearly 390,000 injuries occur each year from accidents caused by texting while driving.

During the Alabama legislation this week, a proposed House Bill 8 sponsored by Representative Randy Wood would make it illegal for someone to view something on their phone, record with a phone, or even hold it while driving.

Alabama Law Enforcement Agency Public Affairs Coordinator Sergeant Jeremy Burkett says it’s not only important to stay off your phones while driving but also to be able to react to things other people are doing around you.

“Oftentimes when we go to these crash scenes now…we don’t see breaking where there were no invasive maneuvers that really tells us that driver was distracted,” said Sergeant Jeremy Burkett.

The proposed bill is still in the works and must be passed by both houses and signed by the Governor.

Burkett says it only takes seconds to put not only your life in danger from distracted driving but others as well.

“If you look down at your cell phone that you may not have the intention to hurt someone, but it still doesn’t change the fact that it’s a law, and if it does that, you’re going to change that person’s life and that persons family’s life forever,” said Sergeant Jeremy Burkett.

This bill would not be a violation to use Bluetooth or hands-free devices…Again this bill has not yet been officially approved but we will continue to keep you updated on the status of the bill.

For more information on the bill, click here.