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Alabama State Senator to introduce new cellphone bill

Alabama State Senator Jim McClendon says he has a bill ready to introduce in the next session that would make it illegal in Alabama to even touch a phone while driving.

Posted: Dec. 5, 2018 5:31 PM

"The bill prohibits touching a cellphone. You can't have a cellphone in your hand, you can't have a cellphone in your lap, you can make phone calls with it if you have a Bluetooth device," State Senator McClendon said.

A law like that is something one local driver says she agrees with.

"The people on the road are so irresponsible, swerving all over the road; you can clearly see they have their cellphone in their hand and they will run you off the road," Michelle Defloreo said.

This new bill is modeled after a law in Georgia that McClendon says has lowered cellphone-related crashes there. Right now, the State Senator says the current no-texting while driving law doesn't go far enough to keep drivers safe. He also says because making calls is still legal, troopers cant always identify when to pull a driver over.

"The problem with the current law is enforcement. You can be entering a cellphone number in your cellphone today and it's legal; you can be sending a text message today and it's not legal. Law enforcement has a hard time really making the no-texting law effective," McClendon said Wednesday.

The bill has exceptions for making emergency calls. You can avoid paying the fine after a first offense if you prove to the judge you've purchased Bluetooth equipment.

"A cellphone has become more important than a human life at this point, and it needs to be stopped," Defloreo said.

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