Soon it could be illegal in Alabama to touch your phone while driving

We're learning more about a cell phone bill that's sure to dominate the upcoming legislative session. It would make it illegal to even touch your phone while driving, except in certain cases. This week, Lieutenant Governor and Marshall County native Will Ainsworth is scheduled to look it over.

Posted: Jan 15, 2019 6:00 PM
Updated: Jan 15, 2019 6:53 PM

Drivers seem skeptical a proposed new bill aimed at preventing drivers in Alabama from touching their phones while driving will make that much of a difference

""They'll use it less, but they're still going to use it," said Allen Battle. "It's going to generate more tickets. People are still going to use their phones."

Right now, you can basically use your phone for anything while driving, except texting. The bill would make it illegal to even touch your phone behind the wheel, except to call emergency personnel or to answer a call using a hands-free device. It would also impact devices, like GPS devices, in addition to cell phones.

"I think its a great idea. People need to keep their hands on the wheel," said Chris Elles.

Republican State Sen. Jim McClendon said one provision of the bill is that, after your first offense, if you can prove you bought something to prevent the issue from happening again the judge can take the offense off your record and you wont have the fine. McClendon is the bill's sponsor.

The bill would also make cell phone use a primary offense, meaning police can pull you over if they see you using your phone. Right now, they can only pull you over if they see you breaking another law.

"The bill just doesn't make sense if you can't touch your phone while you're in your car," said Battle.

"It's hard to get people to use blinkers let alone concentrate on staying on their side of the road," said Elles.

The legislative session starts in March, and the bill will be up for a first hearing that first week.

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