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Texting While Driving Illegal Starting Wednesday

By Glenn Collins
Monday, July 30, 2012 | 6:43 PM

Texting while driving is now illegal in AlabamaAlabama's Texting While Driving ban goes into effect Wednesday.

The new law allows police to stop and cite motorists for writing, sending or reading text messages, instant messages or emails while driving. The law makes texting a “primary offense.” This means police can ticket a driver for texting and no other offense is required, such as speeding or running a stop sign.

A ticket is $25 for the first offense, $50 for the second, and $75 for the third and subsequent offenses. Court costs, which can be $192 in Haleyville, are added to the fine. A violation also puts two points on a the driver’s license, which could force an increase in that driver's insurance rates.

The law contains exceptions for contacting emergency services and for messages sent when a car is parked on the shoulder of the road. It also allows drivers to read, but not program, global positioning systems while moving, and it allows the use of voice-activated communications systems like many new models have.

Posted in News