Alabama lawmakers hope to make state hands-free for drivers

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Alabama could become the 17th state to ban holding cell phones while driving. A bill that would ban holding a phone while driving has been pre-filed ahead of the 2019 session in the State House, and a similar bill will soon be filed in the State Senate.

McCalla-Republican, State Rep. Allen Farley filed a bill last week. Springville-Republican, State Sen. Jim McClendon says he will sponsor a simliar bill in the Senate.

Under existing law, a person is prohibited texting while driving, but they are allowed to hold a phone.

Farley’s bill, HB6, put an end to that. Specifically, it would “prohibit a person from holding or otherwise using his or her body to  support a wireless communication device or standalone electronic device while operating a motor vehicle.” It would also prohibit drivers from watching, recording, or capturing photographs or videos while operating a vehicle.

“It’s not called a no texting law, or a no emailing law, it’s called a distracted driving law,” Farley told WHNT-19.

The first violation will carry a $50 fine; $100 for the second; and $150 for third and subsequent offenses. Violations with convictions will also result in points on people’s license.