This past week the Huntsville City Council unanimously passed a texting while driving ban which will go into effect September 20th. This is the 5th Alabama city to pass this type of law, and will not be the last.
The ordinance bans the use of sending or receiving a text message, viewing pictures or email while driving, or even punch in coordinates on your satellite navigation system while in Huntsville. However, a driver can not be pulled over just for the texting violation. An officer would have to see them breaking another law first such as traveling too close, weaving or speeding.
Cartoon is courtesy of Mike Lukovich.
The sad thing about all this is that such a law is needed in the first place. I must admit, I do look at my Blackberry when stopped at a light to see if I missed an e-mail, call, check where I am going, etc. I am not that coordinated enough to actually text when driving. I know my limitations. I have, however, been in a car with someone who did. It is VERY unsettling to say the least. I have asked if they wanted me to finish for them or to please stop doing that while driving.
My husband is a Firefighter here in Huntsville and has so many stories of pulling or cutting people out of cars that have been involved in an accident and their cell phones are in their hands or on the floor mid-way through texting. Just driving down the road, if you look around you, you can see people texting while driving.
Huntsville's ordinance calls for a $100 fine and up to 10-days in jail for a first offense, $200 and up to 30-days in jail for a second, and a $500 fine and up to three months in jail for a third.
Please be careful out on the roads. Remember, your life or the life of another, isn't worth that quick little message.