Statewide Texting While Driving Law Goes Into Effect

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By Catalina Trivino

If you're someone who texts and drives, beware-- starting today, it's illegal to do so in the entire state of Alabama.

Alabama becomes the 39th state to enforce a texting while driving law, which means drivers should think twice before picking up that phone.

Police are taking this law very seriously. In this case, the Butler County Sherriff's Office will be keeping a close eye on distracted drivers. And Lieutenant Heath Killough is on the hunt for texting and driving offenders.

"It's a good law. It's a little harder than it seems," Said Killough. "You have to look for people driving that their attention is looking downward, hands not on the wheel, maybe running off the road onto the shoulder, crossing the center line..."

The new ban is what's considered a primary offense. That means officers can pull you over for just texting while driving.

"You go down the road, you can tell who's texting and who's not because their mind will be on their phone texting and driving. It'll be easy to catch them," Said local Greenville driver, Tom Powell. 

The ban was signed into law back in May by Governor Robert Bentley, making it illegal to send text messages, instant messages and e-mails while driving, unless you're contacting emergency services or using a G-P-S device.

And drivers seem to think it's a great law.

"I think it's about time. I mean I see them everyday, lots all the days. I know also, I've been guilty of it, but now I think twice about it before I pick up that phone. It can wait. It's not that important. All the lives on the road are way more important," Said another Greenville driver, Hope Gibson.

"We have a car in the shop that got hit last week because the driver behind them was texting, so that sent a pretty good message to me not to do that anymore," said Greenville Chevrolet Dealer employee, Charles Haigle.

The department of public safety officials tell CBS 8 they think the new law will decrease texting while driving. They say most drivers are law abiding and should comply with the new law.

But for those who are caught texting and driving, you'll be fined $25 for your first offense, $50 for a second and $75 if you're caught three or more times.

 

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