Last year, Alabama became the 38th state to ban all drivers from texting (the state also bans novice drivers from cell phone use while behind the wheel). But a recent AL.com article indicates that “either nobody’s doing it, or everyone’s getting away with it.”
The Mobile personal injury attorneys at Long & Long have seen too many individuals and families whose lives have been devastated by wrecks caused by texting or other forms of distracted driving, and we are devoted to helping accident victims recover the financial security they need to move forward. If you were hurt or a loved one was killed in a motor vehicle accident, please call us at 251-432-2277 for your free consultation with one of our lawyers.
The Nov. 15 AL.com article “It’s illegal to text and drive in Alabama, but drivers are doing it anyway” notes the relatively small number of citations that have been issued for texting while driving. Law enforcement in Mobile has issued 24 tickets for texting while driving in 2013, while only eight citations have been issued in Birmingham and a slight seven tickets for texting have been handed out in Huntsville.
This despite the fact that reporters who staked out a Birmingham intersection observed 94 drivers using mobile devices behind the wheel in a mere two-hour timespan. Part of the challenge with enforcing the law is that police must catch a driver with the phone in his or her hand.
An officer quoted in the AL.com article said, “We as police are not in the habit of punishing drivers on the roadway. We are there to try and change peoples’ bad driving habits.”
Yet despite increasing awareness of the dangers of this bad habit—multiple studies have pegged texting while driving as a hazard on par with drunk driving—many drivers continue to text behind the wheel. In addition to minimal enforcement of the law, the AL.com article points out that Alabama’s penalties for texting while driving are relatively low compared to other states.
Drivers in Alabama face a $25 fine for their first offense, $50 for a second offense and $75 for a third. In Georgia, for the sake of comparison, drivers face a $150 fine for a first texting offense; Louisiana drivers face a $175 fine for a first offense.
For more information, please see our Driver Distraction and Auto Accidents page.
If you were injured or a family member was killed in an accident that may have been caused by a distracted or otherwise negligent driver, please contact Long & Long for your no-cost consultation. Our accomplished attorneys welcome clients from the greater Mobile area and across Alabama.