Discussion on texting ban tabled
Texting while driving in the City of Demopolis may soon warrant a citation.
In May the Demopolis city council entertained discussion and considered adopting a policy similar to those found in other cities that was make texting while operating a moving vehicle a moving violation.
Last week, the council presented an ordinance for consideration that prohibited texting. The ordinance allows for the use of cell phones for phone calls, the use of GPS (Geographic Positioning System) devices and also allows motorists to text “in an emergency.”
“It’s not about banning the cell phone,” councilman Bill Meador said. “It’s about watching where you’re going when you’re driving.”
The council tabled the matter for further discussion.
At the local level, Alabama is one of the most active states in outlawing distracted driving. Ordinances against text messaging and using handheld cell phones while driving continue to proliferate due to inactivity at the state level.
Birmingham, Decatur, Huntsville, Montgomery, Madison, Vestavia Hills, Gadsden, Jacksonville, Roanoke and at least seven other communities in Alabama have banned texting while driving. The latest additions are Athens and Daphne, which were passed this month.
The Alabama Legislature adjourned without passing distracted driving legislation in 2010. A bill passed by the House would have banned texting while driving, but the measure died in the Senate after committee members rewrote it to favor plaintiffs in crash lawsuits. The bill had broad support in the Legislature.
Alabama is is second only to Mississippi in the number of teenage driving fatalities. The state Department of Public Health launched a campaign Aug. 26 to warn about the potentially fatal consequences of distracted driving for teens