A week full of bill and resolution signings for Governor Kay Ivey concluded with a new law, effective immediately, prohibiting drivers from holding a cell phone while behind the wheel in Alabama.

The bill was signed and took effect on Friday, June 16, 2023.

 

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The use of Bluetooth and other non-handheld devices will still be legal in the Yellowhammer state.

Ivey's signing makes getting caught holding a phone while driving a "secondary violation," meaning drivers cannot be stopped by authorities simply for using or holding a phone.

 

However, those stopped for a separate traffic violation can be assessed the first-time $50 fine if caught with the device in their hands.

Repeat offenders will see steadily increasing fines.

In 2022 alone, ALEA personnel investigated over 32,000 car crashes in Alabama. Among those cases include 10,445 reported injuries and 587 traffic fatalities.

Tuscaloosa Fire and Rescue took informing the public on the dangers of distracted driving into its own hands in 2019.

Though the video (2019) was released several years before Friday's bill signing, it still manages to convey the dangers of holding a cell phone while operating a vehicle.

The bill's champion, Senator Jabo Waggoner of Jefferson County, said in the legislative session that the traffic death of his own 18-year-old son was a driving factor behind his support.

“Maybe it’ll help save some lives, and cut out some of this distracted driving.”

The Senator hopes to make holding a phone while driving a primary violation in 2024, allowing members of law enforcement to stop drivers who are caught on their devices.

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